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CT Teen Tax Volunteers Help Low Income Families Receive $200,000 in Refunds

Students from The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Senior Esi Obeng of Newburgh, NY and Senior Imani Baptiste of Bronx, NY, provided free tax preparation for Hartford residents in April. The students received IRS certification through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Students from The Ethel Walker School who received IRS certification through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provided free personal tax filing assistance to families and individuals from mid-February through April 15th. Hartford residents making less than $54,000 per year qualified for the program held at Hands on Hartford.

VITA volunteers help taxpayers correctly complete basic federal and Connecticut state forms. Twenty-five Ethel Walker students completed the VITA training in partnership with United Way of Central and Northeastern CT, the IRS, and the Village for Children and Families. Faculty and staff were also trained as preparers to assist the students during the tax clinic. This was the second year Walker students participated in the program.

The VITA volunteers have performed almost 900 hours of service and completed almost 60 tax returns. Walker’s students were instrumental in helping Hartford tax filers receive more than $200,000 in federal refunds and Earned Income Tax Credit available to low income households. The goal of all of Walker’s community service partnerships is to connect girls with local non-profits for special projects that allow the students to help others while also gaining valuable skills. This program not only helped the Hartford community, but the students as well.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence in dealing with financial matters, and it was very rewarding to help clients maximize their deductions and secure their refunds,” said Holly Paul of Avon, a student at The Ethel Walker School.

See the program in action on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/9S2ZjdGAbFo.

The Ethel Walker School is an independent, college preparatory, boarding and day school for girls in grades six through 12 plus a postgraduate year in Simsbury, CT. Since 1911, The Ethel Walker School has excelled at preparing students to make a difference in the world. Members of this diverse community are dedicated to scholarship, the arts, athletics, wellness and service. For more information, visit www.ethelwalker.org or call (860) 408-4467. The Ethel Walker School is located at 230 Bushy Hill Road Simsbury.

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