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Urban Camp Festival (Fall 2018)

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Imagine the gathering of all of your friends at the livest house party of all time… and then add tents, a raging river waiting for you all to tame it, laser tag, different tastes from all over the country, games that might have your children look at you differently, and lastly an open bar that’ll help you forget your antics of the evening.  Once your vision is realized, you will now be walking amongst Urban Camp Weekend, the best camping event in the world, hosted at Mount Breeze of New Braunfels, TX!

Urban Camp Weekend is the largest camping trip in the country, hosted by Urban Camp Weekend and Urban Events Global!  This camp enthralls a large community of eager travelers from all across the country to indulge in a highly entertaining activities, ranging from yoga, to river rafting, during the scheduled weekend.  Intertwined during the duration of the event are mixers for professionals eager to network while still having their fun.  This event was established by Kevin Knight, who had the vision to develop unique and non-traditional experience that allows participants to relax and make lasting connections all while in a territory never explored!

I never knew that drinks, tents, and laser tag could fit together so well.

Upon arriving, we received a warm greeting from campers all across the campsite.  All were participating in games, with laughs bellowing across the site, and immediately incorporated us into the fun!  The atmosphere of the site put people at ease, allowing them to commune with people they had never prior to that day.  The DJ curated songs from all decades, playing them in a way that younger and mature audiences could equally enjoy.  I never knew that drinks, tents, and laser tag could fit together so well.  Overall, the experience was beautifully organized, and the participants had an awesome time.  We cannot wait until next year.

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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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