So you did well in high school, went off to a good college, managed to get through Intermediate, graduated with a 3.8 GPA, got an offer at a Big 4 firm, and passed the CPA exam on the first try in just 8 months. BIG DEAL, you aren't this young lady.
As 17-year-old Belicia Cespedes walked up to her door, about 30 of her family and friends readied for the surprise, falling into position in the kitchen.
The door swung open. The upbeat tunes and sweet falsetto of the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams infused the room with a soulful cheer. And 15 people broke out in a flash mob.
“This, for me?” Belicia exclaimed, throwing her hands to her face and twisting sideways. She was nearly turned around with joy.
What was the party for, you ask? Well, young Belicia was shipped her Certified Public Accountant license, and her family naturally wanted to celebrate.
Belicia, like her sisters, was homeschooled. Using the same kind of continuous progress program that allowed me to skip 3rd grade (and you see where that got me), she was able to breeze through her education before she could legally drive:
Instead of taking multiple classes at once, like most curriculum dictates, the Cespedes daughters completed one course at a time throughout their secondary education, working through the material at their own pace.
“It was really motivating,” said Vicki during an interview in February. “They could accelerate or slow down if they wanted.”
They completed their courses, mailing in the work to their homeschooling program and earning credit. The program worked so well that the girls completed courses much faster than their public-school peers.
The four oldest girls — Ivana, 19, Belicia, 17, Briana, 15, and Giana, 13 — have all graduated high school between ages 11 to 14. The youngest, 4-year-old Ellie, will work with her parents to choose a plan that works for herwhen the time comes.
Belicia used CLEP credits to fast track her bachelor's, which she started at the ripe old age of 13.
When most teenagers her age were sneaking out and hanging around in front of the liquor store waiting for creepy guys to buy them a 12er of Miller Lite (maybe that was just me?), Belicia was grinding away on her path to the CPA:
Holed up in her room for about six months, Belicia logged 12-14 hours of studying each day, skipping weekends most of the time, said their father Jan.
“You have to be very focused and dedicated,” he said, “and you have to understand concepts to pass that exam.”
When Belicia passed, after two failed attempts, her parents submitted her accomplishment to the Guinness World Records.
“They don’t have records of it, so they don’t know if she’s the youngest,” Jan said to the crowd. “So Mom and I decided to name Belicia Cespedes the youngest CPA in American history.”
You will note the state of California does not have a minimum age requirement for prospective CPAs (obviously).
Belicia is working as a CPA for her dad's company, and plans to take on an internship now that she can drive.
Now don't you feel like a piece of shit for taking 18 whole months to pass the CPA exam at the age of 23? Lazy ass.