Menlo’s Second VITA Program a Great Success

By Vicky Schultz

On Saturday, April 13, the Menlo College Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) ended its second year of operations with impressive results. Sponsored by the United Way and the IRS, the program allowed the preparation of over 100 tax returns, resulting in over $53,000 of refunds for clients from the local area.

This year, the number of Menlo’s student volunteers doubled from eleven to twenty-two, including all eleven participants from last year’s program, enabling the group to double the amount of tax preparation sessions offered and increase the number of tax returns prepared. The twenty-two accounting and finance majors that offered their time went through extensive training as well as a series of exams in order to take part in the program. Supporting them was Marketing Major Alyssa Holland to help advertise the program’s services in neighboring Redwood City and the local area.

“A great amount of effort was required on the part of all volunteers to handle a pretty steady workload of clients during all eight sessions,” said Professor Jack Klingler. “Everyone worked hard and had fun along the way. This experience will greatly benefit them as many of them head off to work or intern at some of the larger accounting firms in the area. It was my pleasure to work alongside them.”

“I decided to volunteer for the VITA program to be a resource for my classmates,” said junior volunteer Haley Heryford, who was recently elected as Menlo’s next Student Body President. “It was fun being able to take what I've learned in accounting courses beyond the classroom. Our advisor, Professor Klingler, did a great job of keeping us working hard while having fun.”

“VITA was a fun learning experience for me,” added senior Tylar Clarke, who was part of the program last year. “I encourage all accounting students to do it. I not only gained valuable work experience from VITA, but I also enjoyed being able to help people from the community, as well as fellow classmates.”

The VITA program hopes to continue its success and will be returning to Menlo for next year’s Tax Season.

The student volunteers were:

  • Vanessa Angeles
  • Corona Beck
  • Ansje Bol
  • Alex Cabrera
  • Jessica Campbell
  • Max Carpenter
  • Tylar Clarke
  • Monica Fein
  • Jake Fohn
  • Devin Gaines
  • Robert Gehre
  • Catherine Gonzales
  • Elizabeth Guzman
  • Ann Hansen
  • Haley Heryford
  • Alyssa Holland
  • Devante Hooker
  • Nicole Larson
  • Patrick McNamara
  • Casey Showalter
  • Cameron York
  • Qiao Yuan