Roosevelt Ladder Up
Professor Tanweer Hasan (center, pink sweater) with participating Roosevelt students in Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program.

For the 2019 tax season, Roosevelt accounting and finance students are being encouraged by the Walter E. Heller College of Business, Dean Asghar Sabbaghi and Dr. Tanweer Hasan to participate in Ladder Up’s TAP Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  An informational kick-off session was held at Roosevelt University on October 16, and tax training will be offered in December through February 2019 at Ladder Up’s offices at the Apparel Center (next to the Merchandise Mart). Volunteer sites open in late January through April 15, 2019 at 16 locations across the city and neighboring suburbs. 

“As a Roosevelt alumna, I am thrilled to see my alma mater involved in this outstanding program,” said Judy Andringa, a 1982 accounting graduate of Roosevelt’s College of Business. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community and utilize your financial skills — but what you get back in return and gratitude is so much more.” Andringa has been a volunteer tax preparer for over 15 years and sits on the Ladder Up Advisory Board; she is also a member of the Heller College of Business Alumni Board. “I’ve had a fantastic run in finance, and it all began with a Roosevelt degree that initially opened doors for me,” said Andringa, a University of Chicago MBA graduate who highly recommends Roosevelt business students devote themselves early to giving back to the community as part of their career path.

Ladder Up provides hardworking people with the financial resources and opportunities they need to move up the economic ladder.

Founded in Chicago in 1994, Ladder Up delivers financial relief and opportunity to 29,000 clients each year by providing free assistance with tax return preparation, college financial aid applications (FAFSA), and financial education and coaching.  Since its founding, Ladder Up has served more than 317,000 clients and returned $562 million in economic benefits.

In the fall of 2018, Ladder Up acquired the Center for Economic Progress, which will enable the organization to provide expanded tax, financial education, and asset-building services and add legal aid to the organization’s program portfolio. Since the Center for Economic Progress’s founding in 1990 and Ladder Up’s founding in 1994, the two organizations have generated a combined total economic impact of $1.15 billion.

Last year, Ladder Up’s Tax Assistance Program (TAP) recruited more than 800 professional volunteers who completed over 11,000 tax returns and delivered $17.5 million in tax refunds to the Chicagoland community.  And five Roosevelt University students volunteered their time at 15 sessions and delivered $89,640 in tax refunds by ensuring access to an array of tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Care Credit (CCC).  Afterwards, these students affirmed what an extraordinary opportunity it was to support their communities, in addition to expanding their professional development, skills-based tax expertise and one-on-one client interactions.

Roosevelt volunteer Sonali Patel said, “It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to meet and interact with so many people. You get to see the relief on their faces when the process of preparing their taxes is completed. It feels great to be able to help.”

For more information, please visit the Ladder Up website at goladderup.org. If you have any questions, please contact volunteers@goladderup.org.

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