WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - As we all get ready for tax season, the North Texas Area United Way is getting some help from outside.
A group from Americorp arrived earlier this month, all young adults from 18 to 24. They came to Wichita Falls to learn how to do taxes and help the community, something not every 18-year-old does.
“I just graduated high school and I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to study in college or where to go for college and I found this opportunity that I can travel," Evan Tsuzaki, one of the team members said. "I can do community service and they house me and they feed me so it was just a great opportunity.”
Tsuzaki is from Hawaii, serving in Wichita Falls with the National Civilian Community Corps. When he found out he would be helping with the VITA tax team, the possibilities made him excited.
“I think it’s just a skill I didn’t learn in high school and I’m not sure I would in college," he said. "And I get two weeks of training and 10 weeks of experience actually helping clients with their taxes and it’s just a skill I’ll use for the rest of my life.”
VITA Director Genevieve Anderson says the team is a life saver for the program, with nearly 400 man hours a week that keep the program running.
“Absolutely, we would be cutting our returns in half if not three quarters if it weren’t for the team, they are amazing,” she said.
Getting to see a different part of the country while having an impact on the communities they visit makes the traveling all worth it for the members.
“We’re all really excited to be here in Wichita Falls and make a difference in this community and I think everyone on this team is looking forward to connecting with the community and gaining skills," team leader Natalie Marshall said. "And that’s really what NCCC is about, strengthening communities and building leaders.”