Current Events

Beyond Careers 8th Annual Education Symposium

at Westbury High School

Coming Thursday, November 7, 2019


Theme:  Environmental/Conservation



Planning Committee has representatives from:

Westbury High School

Brays Oaks Management District

Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy

Westbury Civic Club, Inc./Westbury Area Improvement Corp.

Bayou Preservation Association

Coastal Prairie Partnership

The Nature Conservancy in Texas

Houston Audubon

Keep Houston Beautiful

Trees for Houston

Houston Wilderness

Beyond Careers



Projects from college and high school students can be set up to display in the atrium at Westbury High School.  We will have presenters discuss topics pertaining to our theme in the lecture hall.  Beyond Careers can provide a Certificate of Completion to the students can use towards their community service hours if needed.
The Brays Oaks and surrounding members in the community would be invited to come to see the displays and hear the presentations.  This event will have a significant impact in 2019.
For Sponsorship Opportunities:  Contact Us




In conjunction with the Symposium, the goal is to:
  • Identify students who pursue majors in Environmental/Conservation fields
  • Beyond Careers will create an Access database and track those students
  • Beyond Careers is reaching out to biology and science instructors at multiple high schools and at Houston Community College (HCC).  
  • A survey has been created by Beyond Careers that will be sent to the instructors to provide to the students.  This survey will include environmental/conversation organizations that will partner with Beyond Careers on volunteers and community service opportunities for the students
  • Volulnteers can use their community involvement experience on their resume, job application, college applicaiton and scholarship/grant applications.



Silver Sponsor

Community Partner

Community Sponsor

Dr. Sarah Bernhardt, Presenter

Barry Ward, Presenter

Dr. David Mincberg, Special Guest

Sarah Bernhardt has a Ph.D. in marine biology and is a very positive role model for young women interested in environmental science fields.  Sarah came to Bayou Preservation after having served as the Program Director for the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.  She straddles two professional fields - bioscience and nonprofit organization administration/management - and gives her unique perspectives on both. She loves talking with young people and is always looking for eager volunteers!








Barry Ward has served as the executive director of Trees for Houston since 2008. Under his leadership, Trees For Houston has transformed into a non-profit unique in its mission to plant, protect and promote trees throughout the greater Houston region.


Barry Ward established and currently manages six tree farms responsible for providing approximately 20,000 trees a year at little to no cost to the community. 


Following Hurricane Harvey, Barry Ward and Trees For Houston are joining efforts to restore Houston’s green space by donating and replanting lost and damage trees throughout the region.



David Mincberg is chairman of Houston First and chief executive officer of Flagship Properties Corporation.


Mr. Mincberg has been involved in numerous civic initiatives.  Mr. Mincberg currently serves or has previously served in board and leadership capacities for many local organizations, including Houston Museum of Natural Science, University of Texas Health Science Center, Jewish Family Service Foundation, DePelchin Children's Center, Jewish Community Center, American Jewish Committee, and Southwest Houston 2000 (founder).  


Mr. Mincberg is a graduate of the University of Texas (BA, 1971: JD, 1975).


Beyond Careers VITA

Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Asssitance (VITA) provides governmental assistance in the form of free tax preparation program for taxpayers in the low-to-moderate-income bracket with income under $58,000 per year, who otherwise would incur a cost for these services.  We use TaxSlayer, the IRS approved, online software.  VITA program returns thousands of dollars in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) and other tax credits to these taxpayers.  We are able to electronically file tax returns and provide direct deposit at no cost for qualified taxpayers. 

Beyond Careers is now scheduling volunteers for our VITA site at high schools and community colleges in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas.  Beyond Careers VITA will train current and future teams consisting of accounting students, accountants, CPAs and other to become IRS-Certified volunteer tax preparers at the Advance level.  Volunteers will gain community service.  Eligible volunteers can receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs).


Beyond Careers FSA

Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Asssitance (VITA) free tax preparation program will have a Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA) program that will be implemented at community colleges, high schools, middle schools, apartment complexes and other appropriate locations.  The FSA is at No Cost for individual and family taxpayers in the low-to-moderate income bracket who are able to complete their own tax return. 

Students will supervise the FSA site, conduct outreach and promote Beyond Careers FSA program at their school and in the community.  This would be a great way for those students to get communit-service hours.

Beyond Careers will have students take its Independent Study that will utilize the IRS Link & Learn VITA online, self-paced training to become IRS-Certified volunteers with Beyond Careers FSA.


Schools participating in Beyond Careers VITA and FSA:






Results for Beyond Careers VITA

Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) free tax prepration program for taxpayers in the low-to-moderate income bracket helped taxpayers get their refunds and savings in tax preparation fees in the 2018 tax season for a total of $108,000




7th Annual Education Symposium

Beyond Careers Symposium attendees November 10, 2018

Cadet Ronald Arce,

AFJROTC Westbury High School



Panelist Ali Enes Cek, Houston CPA Society Student Auxiliary, Vice-President

6th Annual Education Symposium



5th Annual Education Symposium

Westbury JROTC, HCC Trustee, Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz and Barbara Davis at Beyond Careers 5th Annual Education Symposium


Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has benefitted from the generosity of the Comerica Charitable Foundation with a $5,000 contribution in October 2018.  We thank @ComericaBank for all that they do in the community and congratulate them on their 20th anniversary!



Partner Innovation Recognition Certificate


IRS-SPEC/VITA/TCE Program recognized the University of Houston-Downtown and Beyond Careers for Remarkable Relationships.  The certificate was signed by the National Director of SPEC for "support, dedication and commitment to building strong communities through the Volunteer Return Preparation Program."





Where's My Refund


Get Transcript


Paying Estimated Taxes


Steps for Tax Filing Season


Earned Income Tax Credit


Electronic Filing PIN


Address in Texas to mail tax return


IRS Outreach Corner – Taxpayers that missed the filing Deadline


TaxSlayer login for volunteers


Enhance your volunteer experience!


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteer, if you are working, your company may provide charitable contributions to the non-profit organization where you volunteer. To get more information about Beyond Careers for your consideration in submitting the request to your company, contact us at








Community Partner





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