Young Tulsans Learn The Value Of Giving Back While Getting Hands-on Career Training

Tulsa Responds partners with Tulsa Community College on the inaugural class of TCC Career Internship Academy

Tulsa Responds partners with Tulsa Community College on the inaugural class of TCC Career Internship Academy

Tulsa Community College (TCC), in partnership with Tulsa Responds, has launched the first
cohort of the TCC Career Internship Academy. After a round of interviews conducted by Tulsa
Responds, 18 TCC students were selected to serve as intake specialists or tax preparers in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program facilitated by Tulsa Responds. The
internships began with training sessions in January and will last through April, with students
assisting low-income taxpayers with preparing and filing their 2024 income tax returns.

Tulsa Responds Executive Director Marcela Swenson and her VITA team started planning for
this inaugural internship class last fall with TCC Career Services staff. Last fall, Tulsa Responds hosted a well-attended lunch-and-learn with TCC. "We are always looking for individuals to help with the VITA program, and TCC students are a great fit," said Marcela Swenson, Executive Director of Tulsa Responds. The lunch-and-learn resulted in 70 students
interviewing for positions within the VITA program and 18 selected for employment. "We
needed students to prepare tax returns and assist taxpayers with the intake process.
Students are also gaining valuable work experience that will help them when it comes to
finding permanent employment. Swenson added, "We have been extremely impressed by
the TCC interns' enthusiasm, knowledge, and professionalism thus far. They've been a real
pleasure to work with."

The launch of TCC's Career Internship Academy has proven successful for both Tulsa
Responds and the students. "This experience has been really great because it has made my
customer service skills better, the workplace environment is really good, and overall it has
been great." Diana Martinez, Intake Specialist Intern from TCC.

Students working for Tulsa Responds via the Career Internship Academy will earn well over
the State's minimum wage rate in addition to receiving a stipend. Students who had
completed courses Income Tax 1 and Income Tax 2 were interviewed for the preparer
positions. Those hired will earn $15 an hour. Students who had not completed those courses
interviewed for the intake specialist positions, and those hired will earn $13 an hour. "We are
excited to see this group of students learn critical workplace skills through these internships,"
said Mark Hays, TCC Director of Career/Retention Programs. "Not only are these students
earning wages, they also receive a $1,000 stipend through an essential partnership with the
TCC Foundation." TCC Career Services will work closely with other employers in the coming
weeks to place more students into internship opportunities. "We have employers with
outstanding internship opportunities asking every day for students," Hays continued.

TCC has nearly 1,500 internships posted on its Handshake platform nationwide. That's in
addition to TCC's paid micro-internships, where students can work for up to one month to
help complete specific projects for employers. Students can visit TCC's Career Services
department for assistance with finding a mutually beneficial internship, such as this
inaugural program with Tulsa Responds.

About Tulsa Responds: Tulsa Responds partners with low-income families to enhance their
quality of life and economic opportunities by improving access to critical public benefits. As a
primary service, Tulsa Responds offers free tax preparation to households making less than
$64K annually through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). For more
information, visit

Tiffany Joy Murchison
Source: » Follow
Tags:Tax Preparers
Location:Tulsa - Oklahoma - United States
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