Student Overcomes Adversity to Earn BAP Medal of Inspiration

Michael Plengrat, a spring 2010 graduate of the University of Washington, received the Beta Alpha Psi Medal of Inspiration Award.


The award recognizes a student who has experienced extreme hardships and has demonstrated an unusually high level of success despite that adversity. The award, sponsored by the AICPA, includes a $5,000 cash stipend, which Plengrat plans to use to help continue his education with a master’s in taxation accounting.


Plengrat lived in an orphanage in Thailand. At age 7, he was adopted by an American family but suffered physical and emotional abuse from his adoptive family and was eventually abandoned. He was placed in various foster homes and youth shelters and was homeless as a young adult. However, he remained focused on his education. As a student at the University of Washington, he maintained strong grades and was active in numerous extracurricular activities.


Over the past year and a half, he competed in five case competitions at the Foster Business School, earning second place in one competition. This spring, he co-chaired the Beta Alpha Psi Best Practices in Ethics team that won first place for the Delta Chapter at the Beta Alpha Psi Northwest Regional Conference.


Beta Alpha Psi is an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals. Its primary objective is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field.


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