Patterson High School students prepare tax forms for low-income families

BALTIMORE, Md. - Mayumy Rivera is a 16-year-old student at Patterson High School. She is helping a client prepare his income taxes.

It's all a part of the Coppin/Patterson High School VITA Program.  Students helping low income families prepare their taxes for free.

"Here in our school there are a lot of international families. It would be great to help them because there are some people who don't know how to do their taxes. It's good to help them understand that we have to do taxes every year," said Rivera.

Patterson High School teamed up with Coppin State University and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship for the program. 

"What we do is get students who are career ready and college ready so the key is what you see right now is to get students also involved with the real world and what is out there. We want to combine them with academics," said Dr. Daniel Wallace with the National Academy Foundation.

After eight weeks of tax preparation training and passing a test, students are off and running.

"It feels really good to help the community that can't get their taxes done," said Tyler Lillard, student tax preparer.

"We are providing a service to the community and the kids are learning financial literacy. This is an excellent program for them," said Olivia Smith, Assistant Principal.

Mayumy wants to be a doctor. She plans to use her medical knowledge to visit other countries and help the poor.  The free tax preparation is a launching pad for her and other students.

Patterson High School is the first school in the state to offer this type of free tax program .  It's for families that earn less than 52-thousand dollars a year.

It runs through April 18th, three times a week after school.  The Academy of Finance at Patterson High School is part of the National Academy Foundations Network of 500 career academies.


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