Students at Monticello are getting important lessons in financial literacy while helping the community this tax season through a volunteer program.
The Academy of Finance is a four-year program at Monticello High School teaching topics from accounting to financial decision making. Students in the final year learn to prepare taxes and become certified as tax preparers through the nationwide volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program.
The students provide basic level tax services for free to people who meet certain criteria, and residents say the service makes a difference in the monticello community.
"Unforutnately it's a very depresed area," says Rita Rivera. "It's hard to make a living here. It gives people that are financially strapped a way to do their taxes and not stress out so much."
This is the 11th year for the program and they say their on track for a record-breaking year, having processed over 200 returns for people around Monticello.