February 25, 2014

Returning and New College Students See Education as Key to their Future


Tax client, Pedro, had a lot in common with fellow student volunteer, Jeremy, and student worker Juliet.

Pedro R., 20, who works at Burlington Coat Factory and attends college full-time, is a first-time tax filer with UNHP. He is studying social psychiatry at Bronx Community College and hopes to complete his four year degree at Lehman College.  Pedro connected right away with his student tax-preparer, Jeremy, as they are both in the same year of college and come from large families. He was pleasantly surprised by the one-on-one attention he received and found the overall experience quite “fun.”

Bronx Rents Too High for Adult Learner
Noel B, 45, calls himself a “Panama Canal Kid.” He is a US Citizen, born in the Panama Canal Zone, who has been able to use his excellent Spanish and English language skills in his career. Noel is a Physical Therapy Aide and Assistant, but is going back to school to enhance his employment opportunities. Despite loving the Bronx, he had to move out and live with his mother in Brooklyn, because the rent at his Bronx apartment got too high. He was initially paying $900/month but, by the second year, rent had increased by “8-9% – my salary wasn’t going up at that level.” This disparity between stagnant and low wages and increases in rent and other living costs is the premise for the “crisis of affordability” outlined in the UNHP report Nowhere To Go, as well as a recent Daily News article. Noel is currently studying at Hostos Community College in order to further his certification in Physical Therapy. If Noel can make more money, he hopes to return to the Bronx:  I like the Bronx, I have great friends here!”