The Boston Tax Help Coalition’s Ambassador Program was created in 2005. The purpose of the Ambassador program is to do outreach to immigrant communities that can qualify for free tax preparation and financial services. We have eight Ambassadors that act as a community leaders for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. Each Ambassador is fluent in English and one of seven languages: Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cape Verdean Creole. Ambassadors receive training in basic personal finances, tax preparation, and community organizing. The Ambassadors assist in the translation for the Coalition’s marketing materials and help directly at the tax sites.
Maria Lourdes Silva – Portuguese Ambassador
My name is Maria Lourdes Silva and I am the Brazilian Ambassador for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. For the 2016 tax season, I have done most of my outreach handing out flyers around the Allston / Brighton area and at the Boston Public Schools. I assist with tax preparation and Financial Check-Ups at the Roxbury Center of Financial Empowerment on Saturdays. The part that I like most about being an Ambassador is hearing what taxpayers are going to do with their tax return. It makes me happy knowing that the taxpayers are able to keep the money that they would have spent to get their taxes done by a paid preparer.
Joaquin Teixeira – Cape Verdean Creole Ambassador
My name is Joaquin Teixeira and I am the Cape Verdean Ambassador for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. For the 2016 tax season, I have done most of my outreach handing out flyers around the Dorchester and Roxbury areas and at small Cape Verdean businesses in Boston. I prepare taxes and translate for Cape Verdeans at the Dorchester House on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The part that I like most about being an Ambassador is hearing taxpayers talk about how the Government is giving them more help with tax preparation. It makes me happy knowing that the taxpayers are able to keep the money that they would have spent to get their taxes done by a paid preparer. They are happy that they are being helped with their financial problems by getting a free credit report.
Shanshan Ou – Chinese Ambassador
My name is Shanshan Ou and I am one of the Chinese Ambassadors for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. For the 2016 tax season, I have done most of my outreach giving presentations to the Chinese community and handing out flyers around Chinatown area. I assist with Financial Check-ups at the JVS on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and I also volunteer at BCNC in Chinatown. I enjoy being an Ambassador and I love to help with taxpayers with their tax returns. The best part is that I get to give out financial advice to taxpayers based on their credit report.
Naima Agalab – Somali Ambassdaor
My Name is Naima Agalab and I am the Somali Ambassador for the Boston Tax Help Coalition. For more than 16 years I have worked at the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center where I supervise and provide outreach, education and direct services to Refugees. I am often called on by hospital, court systems, schools and shelters to consult on cases and provide technical assistance. I am one of the trainers in a project that trains law enforcement, domestic violence advocates and others working with victims on understanding how best to work with African- Muslim victims. In 2008 I received the Unsung Hero Award from Mass. Commission on the Status of Women for outstanding contribution to the community. In 2009 I received a letter of recognition from Boston’s Mayor Menino for my work providing tax assistance to the community.
Tyler La – Vietnamese Ambassador