University High School students offer free tax preparations

WACO, Texas - Tax season means many people are scratching their heads -- trying to figure out how they are going to file, and while it may seem like a complicated task for the average person, local high school students are doing it for fun.

For the 14th year in a row, students from University High School are filing taxes.

"It helps them build that confidence of knowing that they know how to do something that a lot of adults that they look up to pay someone to do," said Angelo Ochoa, Teacher at University High School.

Mr. Ochoa, who teaches seven classes a day, finds the time to teach students a trait they'll use long after they graduate.

"I don't want to knock the math department or anything, you know, but how often do you use the Pythagorean Theorem or anything like that, what we learn in here they do get to use everyday for the rest of their lives," said Mr. Ochoa.

It's not as easy as it seems, each student who wants to volunteer for the program must first pass three IRS certification tests.

"It's such a benefit to the kids as far as, they go beyond just what's in the text book," said Mr. Ochoa.

They need an 80 or better to get certified, then the real fun begins.

"We've got some kids that are doing interviews on one side, we have some kids that are signing people in, we have some kids that are doing taxes, we have some kids that are reviewing tax returns, so it's just, it's chaotic, but I don't know, they like it," said Mr. Ochoa.

Every year the school has 50 to 90 kids that pass, and on any given night 25 to 30 of them volunteer to help others.

 

 

"It feels great like causing helping other people that's what I like to do," said Shelby Reyes, Senior at University High School.

"In general I'm usually a person of community so I like to help and if there's one thing that I'm really devoted to is probably this business program and the tax preparation program as well," said Lessitte Canales, Senior at University High School.

Canales is a senior in high school, she's participated in the program for four years and hopes to one day have a career in finance or accounting.

"I actually ended up getting my first job because of the tax program," said Canales.

"And if you've never just been in here seeing the kids working doing taxes, high school kids, it's a little bit surreal," said Mr. Ochoa.

This year their tax site will only operate as a drop-off service.

For more information on the program click HERE.

 

 

 

 


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