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BSC VITA Program Helps More than 500 Area Residents Complete Tax Returns (w/photo)

  • Created
    Tuesday, April 28 2009
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103
Bluefield State College students, professional volunteers, and accounting faculty provided income tax preparation for more than 500 area residents this tax season through the VITA program at BSC and at selected sites throughout Mercer County.  This year’s BSC VITA program volunteers included (seated, left to right)Kay Walden, Jamie Hayes, Amanda Roten, Jeri Elmore, (standing, l-to-r)Michelle Williams (site co-coordinator), Evonne Davidson (associate coordinator), Thalia Harris, and Cynthia Higgins-Atwell (site co-coordinator).

(Bluefield)-- Bluefield State College students, professional volunteers and accounting faculty provided income tax preparation assistance to more than 500 area residents during the 2009 tax season. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at BSC's Bluefield campus provided tax help at the College and at selected sites throughout Mercer County.

The BSC VITA volunteers provided assistance throughout February, March, and April (through the April 15 filing deadline). "Volunteers alerted taxpayers to special credits and deductions, helping them in the preparation of forms, answering questions, and providing additional information," noted Cynthia Higgins-Atwell, BSC Adjunct Accounting Instructor.  Higgins-Atwell and Michelle Williams served as VITA site co-coordinators, and accounting student Evonne Davidson assisted as associate coordinator.

"Our students enjoy the satisfaction of helping others, and many people find this service very helpful because it provides a way to complete their returns in a fashion that's comfortable for them.  These students worked very hard,” Higgins-Atwell continued.  “They also put classroom skills to work in a ‘real world' environment.”  In addition to the site coordinators, other VITA volunteers this year included the following Bluefield State students:  Thalia Harris, Jamie Hayes, Amanda Roten, Kay Walden and Jeri Elmore, United Way Assistant. Volunteer greeters included Marva Amaker, and RSVP volunteers.

Higgins-Atwell commended the volunteers taking part in this year’s VITA program. "These students worked hard and made a great contribution to the College's relations with the community," she observed.  The VITA program has been offered through Bluefield State College for more than 20 years.

The VITA Program at BSC was coordinated for many years by the late William Goodman, an accounting faculty member, who passed away last year.  “The College is extremely grateful for the work of this year’s VITA volunteers,” noted Dr. Albert Walker, BSC President.  “They have kept alive the spirit of community service that was embodied by Professor Goodman and the VITA program volunteers who served through this region through the years.”