March 17, 2015

UNHP Welcomes First Lehman College Tax Volunteer


Maimouna, one of our 80 student volunteers, who have trained for the UNHP Tax Preparation program in 2015. Maimouna is a graduate student at Lehman College and is our first Lehman tax volunteer. Photographer, Dana Ullman,

Maimouna is our first Lehman College tax volunteer for the UNHP Bronx Free Tax Preparation program. She is completing her last semester of a 30 credit Masters in Finance and also attended Lehman as an undergraduate. Lehman College is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and is located just a few blocks away from our main tax site at Refuge House. Maimouna lives in the Bronx with her family and found out about this volunteer opportunity through an IRS volunteer fair. She has enjoyed her time as a student at Lehman and finds the school campus very inviting and her professors helpful and approachable. She has a number of interests and could see herself as an accounting teacher, a public agency professional, as well as a small business owner specializing in clothing and wares from Mali – her country of origin.

Svetlana, our Ariva Site Manager, reviews the tax return prepared by Maimouna. Every tax return is carefully reviewed by a quality reviewer on staff to both instruct the volunteer preparer and ensure accuracy and correctness. Photo by Dana Ullman,

Maimouna is enjoying her volunteer experience with UNHP. “I love it tremendously! I feel welcomed and part of a team.” At first she thought it would be too stressful to prepare taxes for the first time, but thanks to the support of experienced quality review staff, “I feel relaxed and calm. I even changed my work schedule so I could volunteer more.” UNHP appreciates her enthusiasm as the number of people we can assist depends on the reliability of our volunteers.

In addition to an extensive online training, all student tax volunteers participate in a day long workshop training led by the UNHP tax team.

The UNHP Free Tax Preparation Program depends on the generosity of our college student volunteers. Students from Fordham University, Manhattan College and Lehman College take a 15 hour on-line training as well as an 8 hour in person training before they begin working with tax filers. Maimouna is one of 80 student volunteers who have trained for the UNHP program in 2015.