Pediatrics; Economics

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Volunteer Basis, Potential for Work-Study Funding, Potential for Academic Credit

Overview

Poverty is a key determinant of health and other life outcomes. This project seeks to intervene by increasing access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, the largest anti-poverty program in the United States. Receipt of the EITC has been associated with improvements in health and development for low-income children but this tax credit is underutilized. We will provide tax filing services at the Epiphany School in Dorchester, a private, not-for-profit school for economically-disadvantaged children in Boston with wrap-around services.

The Undergraduate Research Intern (URI) will assist in providing intake services for families participating in the tax service at Epiphany School and will undergo certification in tax preparation. No prior experience in tax is needed; concerns around this certification should not be a barrier to applying. We will provide supervision and support in all aspects of the role. The intern will work with a graduate research assistant to confirm families have the required documents for filing taxes, provide tax resources to the families, book times for them to meet with the tax site coordinator for filing, assist with tax filing, and other tasks as necessary. The URI may also participate in data collection for the research component of the study by helping to administer surveys, collect tax information and file study materials.

Successful candidates will have taken coursework in quantitative and qualitative research, have excellent interpersonal skills, be highly organized, and interested in community engagement. Time commitment: 4-6 hours a week, November 2019 to April 2020. We seek diverse and underrepresented candidates. Spanish or Haitian Creole-language skills are preferred but not required. Experience using REDCap is desirable but not required.

About the Organization: StreetCred is a non-profit organization running out of Boston Medical Center (BMC). It started offering free tax preparation for low-income patients at BMC and has expanded to California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and Texas. We aim is to maximize receipt of the EITC and by this method improve the health and wellbeing of low-income families and children.

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