Texas Border Business
PALMVIEW — Students across Starr and Hidalgo Counties gathered at Palmview High School recently for the United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Banquet to recognize the students who volunteered more than 20 hours this past tax season.
Through a partnership between PSJA ISD and the United Way VITA Program, dozens of IRS-certified PSJA ISD student volunteers are able to provide free income tax preparation services to hundreds of qualifying families during tax season. In order to assist at the site, PSJA student volunteers had to attend a training and pass three rigorous exams to earn their IRS certification. Volunteers include students from 9-12 grade hailing from all of the district’s high schools. This year, the district’s VITA site was located at PSJA Elvis J. Ballew College, Career & Technology Academy.
“Many of our students from our different high school campuses work so hard throughout tax season to get refunds back to our community residents,” said PSJA Ballew Site Coordinator Leticia Bocanegra. “All of our volunteers felt a great accomplishment to know that in our site alone, they helped refund a total of $588,000.”
With more than 100 volunteers this year, the PSJA ISD VITA site was recognized during the appreciation banquet for having the most volunteers at a site this tax season. United Way also awarded PSJA Collegiate High School Program student Josue Cedillo “United Way Taxpayer of the Year” for the region.
“VITA is a way to give back to the people in our community so it’s vital to help others when possible,” Cedillo said. “Being a Tax Preparer of the Year is a way to lead by example to show others that there is great potential in every corner of your heart.”