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March 20th, 2013

Mount accounting students aid community during tax season

Mount Saint Mary College accounting majors Jeremias Ramos and Stephen Lawrence help Newburgh resident Karen Hingst prepare her taxes.

NEWBURGH – Three accounting majors from Mount Saint Mary College recently lent their tax preparation skills to middle- and low-income families in the City of Newburgh.

Stephen Lawrence, a sophomore from the Bronx; Trevor Pungello, a senior from Otisville; and Jeremias Ramos, a junior from Monroe, passed an accounting competency test before they served the community at "Super Saturday," held at the Newburgh Armory in Newburgh, NY.

"This is my field, so it’s good to be here and assist clients in preparing their taxes," said Lawrence. The aspiring certified public accountant said that the event brought him a sense of accomplishment, "because helping people is one of my skills and one of my passions."

Pungello said that participating in Super Saturday would help differentiate Mount students from others looking for accounting jobs. He added that his previous experience helped him to land a job earlier this year with an accounting firm in Monroe.

A little before noon, Ramos had finished aiding a client and was waiting for his next appointment to arrive. "It’s good experience in my field, plus I get to volunteer and help others, which I like," said Ramos, of the event. "That’s a big incentive for me."

Earlier this academic year, Ramos helped the Mount Knights accounting team achieve a top 20 finish in the annual American Institute of Certified Public Accountants competition. The team was advised by associate professor Tracey Niemotko.

"She’s a really good teacher," said Lawrence. "I love her class. I give her a lot of credit."

Ramos added that she "pushes students to go above and beyond."

This is the third year that Mount students have participated in IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), according to Kathleen O’Keefe, associate director of the Mount’s Career Center.

Super Saturday in Newburgh is one of many events where Mount accounting students lent a hand to the community. They also participated in a second Super Saturday in Middletown, as well as aiding with taxes throughout the season at Senior Horizons at Newburgh, Newburgh Free Library, the Newburgh Ministry, Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union and Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

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