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Student Testimonials

Joe Ramos

Joe Ramos

Business Administration Career/Accounting Certificate

I chose to participate in the vita program to help those who need the help to understand their tax obligation and who cannot afford to go to a preparer who charges an outstanding fee growing up in a low-income household I have seen firsthand at the struggle of putting food on the table and the amount it cost to file taxes, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck. I started doing taxes at an early age to help my family and friends keep more of their money, so when I started going to school and I saw a flyer about volunteering to prepare taxes for low to middle income, I did not hesitate to jump on the occasion to help.

Volunteering has made a lasting impact on me, to see the gratefulness of the clients and the joy they had on their faces when provided with quality service for zero amount, made it all well worth it. I really felt we were making a difference in the community. I gained knowledge of communication and research skills and it became more about a team experience than it was about self-gratification. The joy I received from this will follow me through my personal and career life. I am glad I have taken part in this and will continue to do my part whenever I have an opportunity because it is about bringing joy to others.

For someone considering being a part of this volunteer program, I would tell them it is a rewarding experience that will help you build character as well as become involved in community support. The VITA class is truly rewarding. I also enjoy doing the necessary work and enjoying myself with the clients as well as the volunteers. I see such a diverse group of people who come and have been through so much and I am glad that we can help, and in the same help way ourselves by gaining experience and skills.

Cassandre Marin

Cassandre Marin

General Studies

I chose to participate in the VITA program to help my community. I decided to take the ACC225 class because when the professor explained me the concept of this class, I really liked the idea of the class that is designed to make you learn a skill and also be able to use this skill right away by helping people with their tax return for free.

I don’t think this class is related to my career goal since I want to become a computer scientist, but I enjoyed the social aspect because when you are done to file the tax return for the client, they thank you from their heart. This exchange at the end makes me proud of myself and, I’m happy to make someone happy. This makes me realize I can become someone important and contribute to the happiness of someone else thanks to my knowledge acquired at school.

The credit earned from this class will be toward my 200-level elective. I liked the experience I had in the VITA program. I had the opportunity to help in different roles such as a front desk and tax preparer. I also had the chance to help with some of the marketing tasks. I am very lucky. because I had the chance to be on television with professor Eduardo Rivas and Gezime Zito to talk about this incredible program who help people to have their tax return for free. I have a great experience preparing taxes. Every customer was very nice. I would tell new students participating in the program to not be afraid because other volunteers will help you at the site.

Shreyans Patel

Shreyans Patel

Business Transfer

I participated in the VITA program as I never had experienced doing Taxes. This was a great opportunity to help the community to get their taxes done and to get some professional hands-on experience. If I had to share my experience, I would highly recommend everybody because VITA program is not just for people who can do taxes. Volunteers can help the community in different ways like being bilingual helps people with dealing with their language barriers, administrative duties, front desk. The happiness you receive from helping other is just indescribable. It was my first-time contributing my learning to the community and helping people brought a smile on their faces. I was able to do a variety of different activities and learn different skills from all the things of a group, which as possible because of  Professor Rivas who helped every volunteer participant with his great knowledge and skills and by being under his supervision I was able to be too versatile in a short period. The activities I performed there were as follows: Taking interviews, Customer Service, Preparing Taxes, being a reviewer, and helping with administrative work.

I always wanted to get practical knowledge regarding taxes. This year I was able to do it for individuals and low-income people without any major complications but in the future. I was able to prepare taxes for my family and my friends which helped them save some money now I am passionate to learn more about taxes now and I like to do it. I am sure that I am going to participate next year as well.

Participating in the program helped me to improvise my skills of communications by interacting with taxpayers and my other volunteering which helped me improve my public speaking skills. Participating in this program has also helped me realize that It is easy to gain knowledge from anywhere but helping your community with your knowledge creates value. I will say that collaborating with this Volunteering program I have achieved a personal goal and I feel gratitude towards Professor Rivas who has helped me learn so many things within a short time and towards the Internal Revenue Service initiative.

Elma Tafa

Elma Tafa

Business Transfer

I chose to participate in the VITA program because it seemed interesting to me. I’ve always wanted to know how to prepare taxes for the others and do my taxes for me and my family. This program doesn’t have to do much with my personal or career goals, but it is fun to learn about new things. Besides preparing taxes, I helped scheduling appointments for the clients, and I can say that was fun too. It helped me to improve my communication skills and also how to be patient with everyone.  I would highly recommend to someone that is considering participating in this volunteer program. I think that we always need people in our community that can help each other even with little things. This is also one of the reasons why I like VITA. I am satisfied with the experience that I had in this volunteer program which benefited me a lot. I will always encourage people not to be afraid to try something different even if it looks hard and I will first recommend this course. It was fun, every day was different.

Miosotis Rosado

Miosotis Rosado

Business Administration Career/Accounting Certificate

I chose to participate in the VITA program because when I was taking the Federal Taxation class ACC211-70 with the excellent Professor Rivas in Fall 2019, he mentioned this great opportunity that besides allowing putting into practice what learned in class, we also earn college credits.

This was the perfect opportunity to continue my journey, my career, my personal and professional dream to become an authorized CPA. I was 10 years out of college and now I have to take advantage of all the opportunities that life offers me. The credit and experience gained in this class will contribute to me completing my Accounting degree and transferring my credits to Clark University. This was a completely new experience for me. I love the experience of being able to work with other volunteers who have done this before and seeing that love and desire to help the community is totally impressive. I hope to return next year.

My experience filling taxes has been excellent, absolutely all the scenarios are different, I love to inform our community when they have questions. It is best to see how all tax preparers help each other. If someone is considering being part of this volunteer program, I highly recommend them. It is an excellent opportunity to help the community. I am super happy to see such a large Spanish speaking community, and I loved helping them in their language. It is also a great opportunity to get experience, knowledge, and help from professionals who are there to help us.

Bobby Kapel

Bobby Kapel

General Studies/ Human Services Certificate

Helping others and making myself available have been my topmost goal in life. I grew up in a culture where help was not available to those who needed it. Serving as a member of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance team helped me accomplished this goal. I decided to undergo the training and volunteer because I feel it is a good way of giving back to the community by helping others.

It has always been my goal to help others especially working in the human service field as a Behavior Therapist (BT) and a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). I have previously worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant(CNA) in nursing and assisted living facility and hoping to advance myself in the human service filed by completing my Associate of Arts degree this Spring 2020 Semester. I will be transferring to Assumption College to pursue my Bachelor’s in Human Services and Rehabilitation. I am currently a Future Focus Student at QCC, and I also pay for the rest of my classes out of pocket. The VITA program put me in a good position to use my time to help others. Credits earned from the VITA program will be used to satisfy the total amount of credits at Quinsigamond Community College and also help reach the total amount of transfer credits at Assumption College. Preparing taxes was a very good experience because it boosts my confidence and helped me applied what I learned in my training. It also helped me familiarize myself using the tax software and navigate through it with great speed accuracy at the same time kept communication with the people I was helping, and this was a great surprise for me. If anyone is considering being a part of the volunteer program, I would strongly recommend him or her to take advantage of this opportunity and great experience in helping others.

Jo-Serena Rodriguez

Jo-Serena Rodriguez

Marketing Consultant | Worcester

When Jo-Serena Rodriguez started at QCC, she wasn’t even sure she would finish. Now she credits her success as a marketing consultant to the academic foundation built at Quinsigamond.

“Soon after my first marketing course, I became active and engaged on campus and day-by-day built my self-confidence,” she said. In 2005, Ms. Rodriguez graduated from Quinsigamond Community College with a degree in the Business Transfer program, which led to her attaining a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Worcester State University in 2007. She is the first in her family to receive a college degree and has paved the path for her siblings to follow.

She started her career at the YWCA Central Massachusetts as the Marketing and Resource Development Associate soon after graduating college. Shortly after arriving at the YWCA, Ms. Rodriguez took the lead role in a number of special initiatives for both the local and regional associations, including its young women’s leadership program and economic empowerment programming.  

A champion for empowerment, she is actively engaged in the community and supports many local efforts to empower women and Latinas. Within the past year, she has given her time Girls CHOICE as a Board Member. In this role, she manages Girls CHOICE brand and collateral, and provides creative direction for events and fundraising.

She grew up in Worcester, Mass. As a first-generation American, a teen mom, and a high school drop‐out, life looked grim at 16.

“When QCC took me in to its community, it provided me with an amazing foundation that has supported every drop of success I have earned. From the organizational structure to the real-life professors, every step was aimed at providing me with a solid educational experience, which prior to, I had none,” she said. “Quinsigamond inspired me. It put me on the pathway to success; it opened my eyes to the world and opportunities around me and changed my family’s future.”

Ms. Rodriguez was recently named an Alumni Guardian by Quinsigamond Community College, for her service to the community and the college. To help celebrate QCC’s 50th anniversary, the college is naming 50 guardians who have made a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.

Quinsigamond Community College is still seeking nominations from the community. Read more about the Guardians and find out how to nominate someone at www.qcc.edu/50-guardians

Ms. Rodriguez is a marketing consultant for local business as well as a graphic designer for online businesses.

In 2009, Ms. Rodriguez was named to Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 List, and in 2012, she was named to Pulse Magazine’s 12 to Watch in 2012 –both lists annually recognize up‐and‐coming leaders.

In the past, she has been involved in Center for Women Enterprise, Adelante Worcester, ALPFA, Planned Parenthood LM, YWCA New England and Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance.

“Someone asked me the other day which organization I thought was the best in the city and without hesitation I said Quinsigamond. My hope for QCC is that it continues to be the most valuable resource in the city. I hope it continues to be a community where every student has a chance,” Ms. Rodriguez said.

Maria Rosado

Maria Rosado

Business Administration Career/Accounting Certificate

I decided to volunteer in the VITA program because I want to help people in our community who need assistance to file their taxes and cannot pay for this service, also to practice what I learned in class, and gain experience in the area, since my dream has always been to become a CPA. Being a volunteer for the program is closely related to my professional goals since one of the jobs that I can do as an accountant is tax preparation, and this is what we do in the VITA program. The credit earned for participating in the program will be applied to my major as a program elective. It was a great experience; being able to help people to file their tax returns. I really enjoyed the program, and I hope to go back next year.

It is very satisfying to help people in need; I am also happy to help Spanish speakers. If someone is considering being a part of this volunteer program, I would highly recommend them to be part of the program as it is a great opportunity to help the community, learn new things, gain experience if you are someone interested in the field, and meet wonderful people, both volunteers, and clients.

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