Maggie Solis is a staple at Texas Southmost College (TSC). She has been an accounting instructor at TSC for ten years, but her career spans 21 years, including the Texas Southmost College/University of Texas Brownsville partnership days. As a TSC Accounting Technology program instructor, Solis is also the Program Coordinator.
Countless students have acquired their start as accountants in her classes. Many residents in the greater community have also benefited from the free income tax assistance she provides through her volunteer work with United Way’s program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently recognized Solis for her longstanding dedication to providing this service to the community she serves. She has volunteered at VITA for twenty years.
IRS representatives Robert Kerner, Grace Torres, and Maria Bustamante, the United Way of Southern Cameron County’s VITA Coordinator Mayela Moreno, and CEO Traci Wickett, presented a certificate of recognition to Solis during this year’s opening of the VITA program at the International Technology, Education and Commerce Center (ITECC) in late January.
“What she does to give back to the community and the people here is priceless,” said IRS representative Grace Torres. “She has volunteered for many years. She has helped for many years by running this site and getting her students to do the same.”
During tax season, Solis and her students spend countless Saturdays volunteering to assist community members making less than $58K in preparing their taxes, and their efforts do not go unnoticed. When Solis’ award photo was shared on TSC’s social media platforms, there was an outpouring of support and “thank yous” from students she has taught and mentored throughout her career as an instructor.
Solis is a firm believer in the VITA program. She strives to help the community she serves by guiding and educating them on the best practices to save money on taxes.
“Not only do we provide the free income tax service, but in the process, we are educating the community,” said Solis. “Part of the education we provide is to inform them about the credits available, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit. When someone has dependents, that credit will give them a higher tax refund at the end.”
Solis’s students get valuable service-learning experience by working on real-life scenarios preparing individual taxes while at the same time fulfilling a community need.
“You get to see the students grow because it adds value to the understanding of what they are doing since these are real tax returns,” Solis said.
IRS representatives agree with Solis and mention that in many cases, volunteer students with VITA credentials are recruited at a higher salary grade than entry-level because of the experience they have acquired volunteering in the program.
Maggie Solis and the accounting program can be reached at 956-295-3575 or via e-mail at [email protected].