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St. Philip’s College and City Prepare for MLK Activities

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Mark your calendar for three days of programming in January to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Both the city of San Antonio and St. Philip’s College are preparing now for the celebrations that will center on the theme: Continuing King’s Legacy of Justice, Peace and Equality!.

St. Philip’s College recently created a dedicated web page to help people plan now for the annual march that attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees. Vist the web page (https://www.alamo.edu/spc/mlk-march/) for more information and volunteer opportunities. Also check out the city’s website for additional news.

St. Philip’s is also encouraging high school seniors graduating in August 2019 to apply for the MLK and Dream Scholars Program scholarships long before the Feb. 22 deadline.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19

Youth Summit
This empowering event is free and open to the public. 2019 Youth Summit information and registration forms coming soon.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20

Wreath-Laying Ceremony
2:00 p.m. • Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza • Intersection of E. Houston and N. New Braunfels
The San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission invites the community to the Commission’s annual Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring the life, struggles and accomplishments of Dr. King. Businesses, city officials, and organizations will lay wreaths at the MLK, Jr. statue in commemoration. The keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Citywide Interfaith Worship Service
4:00 p.m. • Location: To be announced
The Annual Citywide Interfaith Worship Service, presented by the San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, will feature several invited guest speakers who will present on various topics of faith and the legacy of Dr. King. Free and open to the public.

MONDAY, JANUARY 21

Early Morning Worship Program
8:00 a.m. • MLK Academy • 3501 Martin Luther King Dr.
The community is invited to enjoy a positive and uplifting experience during the Early Morning Worship Program. Presented by the San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, the event features contemporary and traditional musical artists, inspirational and motivational dances and spoken word performances.

Martin Luther King, Jr. March
10:00 a.m. • Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy • 3501 Martin Luther King Drive
The annual march, organized and presented by the San Antonio MLK Jr. Commission and the city of San Antonio, begins at the MLK, Jr. Academy and ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa. The nearly three-mile route down Martin Luther King Drive takes participants through San Antonio’s historic East Side in remembrance of Dr. King. In 2018, approximately 300,000 people participated in the march as part of an unforgettable experience that has become one of San Antonio’s signature events.

Commemorative Program
11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. • Pittman-Sullivan Park • 1101 Iowa
The San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s Commemorative program is one of the highlights of the annual commemoration honoring Dr. King. The program will feature the City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other national, state, and county officials. The presentation of the Baha’i Unity of Humanity Award and the Rev. R.A. Callies Courage Award are also part of the program’s highlights.

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Student Volunteers Operate One of the Busiest Tax Offices in the City

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St. Philip’s College students will open San Antonio’s most productive income tax preparation site when the 2019 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) season begins on Jan. 22.

Currently the top floor of the college’s Bowden Building, at 1801 MLK Drive, has been taken over by the VITA San Antonio program for training its entire corps of new and returning tax preparers. The St. Philip’s site, which was established in 1992 and run by students, is ranked No. 1 in productivity locally in 2018, No. 4 in productivity in the region, and No. 12 in productivity nationally.

Kenneth Bankston is the VITA college site leader and the instructor for the tax training center. He said they have already trained 300-400 volunteers on campus since December. VITA provides free income tax return preparation to taxpayers earning up to $60,000 annually. All VITA tax returns are prepared and submitted to the IRS electronically by volunteers. Taxpayers can anticipate receiving a check in seven to 10 days business days.

For the 2018 tax season, the VITA-St. Philip’s College volunteers processed $7.3 million in refunds for 4,170 clients. Many of the students who volunteer to help taxpayers are scholarship recipients of the HEB Student Engagement Grant.

Crystal Gandara is a 2015 alumna of the college’s liberal arts and business administration programs who began volunteering for VITA in 2014.

“For 2019, I’m going to help with Spanish speakers and see if we can serve 5,000 people. I think both are achievable,” said Gandara.

Lisa Alvarez is a 2018 alumna of the college’s computerized accounting program. Now she’s training this week to become the leader at VITA’s Brook Hollow site.

“When I got into VITA, I was no longer unsure what I wanted to do. When I tell people what I love do with taxes, they are like, well you are one of the few. When I get to Brook Hollow, I’m going to have my St. Philip’s College VITA experiences in my head the whole time. I love it, because this is helping people,” Alvarez said.

For details, contact site leader Kenneth Bankston at spc-vita@alamo.edu or call (210) 486–2122. To learn more, go here.

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New Interim District 2 Councilman

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Former Councilman Art Hall has been chosen as the interim District 2 Councilman to replace William “Cruz” Shaw. Hall previously served on the council, representing District 8. He has residences in both districts.

Hall was selected among a group of three finalists that included military veteran and motivational speaker Jada Sullivan, and Denver Heights Neighborhood Association President Aubrey Lewis. Thirteen people originally filed to be considered for the position. Hall said he will not file to run for the position in May. Hall must wait 10 days before being seated on the council.

Hall, who is an attorney and a dean at St. Philip’s College, served two terms from 2003 to 2007 when he represented District 8. The recent District 2 Council seat became vacant when Shaw resigned to accept an appointed judicial position at the Bexar County Courthouse.

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San Antonio City Council *Live*

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