DelVal students’ participation in Buck$ Back. tax-prepration program recognized in awards event.

Apr 30, 2010

For the sixth straight year, Delaware Valley College students helped low-income families fill out their tax returns.

Click here to view a slideshow of the Awards Event.



The goal was to maximize refunds from Uncle Sam, but the benefits went farther.

"By doing this you are changing people," Roger Collins, director of the Bucks County Opportunity Council, told the student volunteers at the program's kickoff Feb. 3. "You're helping people with goals and dreams. It's more than filling out forms."

The Opportunity Council oversees the program - called Buck$ Back! -- and coordinates with partners like DelVal. About 40 students were trained and certified to fill out tax returns.

"We couldn't do this without you," he told the students. "Let's go get that $3 million.

The DelVal volunteers represent only one facet of the program. Last year they alone saved low-income families more than $181,000. Since 2005, they have saved over $1 million.

Collins recalled one case where the volunteer tax preparers saved a family $7,500, which was 50 percent of their income.

"No one has answered the call more than DelVal students," he said.

Working with them this year was Dave Dowdy, a Central Bucks West High School senior who is doing his senior project on Buck$ Back.

Pat Smith, an administrative secretary, was the coordinator of the effort. Among those assisting were Mira Gegvata, chair of the business department, and Liz Kolar, a business professor.

At the awards ceremony, remarks were made by Benjamin Rusiloski, dean of business, education, arts and sciences, and Roger Colins.