Lucien Butler, a graduate student at Utah State University, received the Medal of Inspiration Award from Beta Alpha Psi, an honor organization for financial information students and professionals.
The award, sponsored by the AICPA, is bestowed upon a student who has experienced extreme hardships in his or her life and who has demonstrated an unusually high level of success despite that adversity. The award includes a $5,000 cash stipend.
From a very young age, Butler was prevented from receiving an education and was required to work at home. His situation was not discovered until he was 14, when a court order was issued that finally allowed him to attend school. Butler was substantially behind his peers and struggled to grasp academic concepts. However, through hard work with his teachers and taking extra classes, he was able to overcome these challenges.
At 16, he left his difficult home situation and began living with the Butler family, who volunteered to take him in until he finished high school, and ultimately adopted him.
After graduating from high school, Butler joined the National Guard, served on combat missions in Afghanistan, and was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries he received on the battlefield in Afghanistan.
After completing his National Guard service, Butler earned an
accounting degree at Utah State University. While in college, he
worked with Grant Thornton on a tax internship and performed volunteer
work in his Beta Alpha Psi chapter and in the community.