Students Gain Valuable Experience While Helping Their Community

The “Learn Early. Live Smarter” initiative offers high school students a unique opportunity to

(1) provide a valuable service to the community while gaining experience that will reflect positively on their future resumes,

(2) reap the benefits that are associated with volunteerism,

(3) learn how to prepare their own tax returns which will save them money as they enter the workforce, and

(4) learn basic tax laws that will enable them to make better financial choices in the future, making it less likely that they will become one of the many thousands of taxpayers who are faced with a tax-related debt every year.

In short, students learn real-life skills using real-life experiences which prepares them for college, career, and life.   Expansion of this initiative is a part of the State’s recent grant-in-aid to the Hawaii VITA program.

We are currently seeking educators who would be willing to expand this initiative in their schools. Training is provided and a modest stipend is available. For more information, please use the contact form or email



“Going through the VITA program was a good experience for me. It taught me how to prepare taxes and know the rules I must follow when filing a tax return. . . . I feel like this is a great program because it certifys students to do basic tax returns in an easy, understandable manner and because it teaches us a valuable life skill that could be useful in the near future. Thank you for this opportunity.”  Student, Age 16

It was actually kinda fun filing taxes. I wouldn’t mind doing it all day I guess. It seemed pretty easy. It generally went well, but if I had to change something that I did it would probably be the time that I completely screwed up someones 1040 really badly so the instructor had to take over for a bit.” Student, Age 15

“When I was watching my partner complete a tax return, I thought it was pretty easy. But when I had to do a return it was pretty difficult. . Thank goodness …was helping us because I feel the client would either get the wrong amount or we wouldn’t be done until the next tax year. Once I get better at taxes, I’ll be volunteering again because it was a good time and I enjoyed it. “ Student, Age 17