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Beyond Careers 7th Annual Education Symposium

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Participating students receive a Certificate of Completion for Community Involvement


For Sponsorship Opportunity, go to:  Be a Sponsor













Community Partner

Community Sponsor






Shawn Thierry, Esq., Texas State Rep. District 146


State Representative Shawn Thierry attended Westbury High School. In 1991, she obtained her Bachelors of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and received a Juris Doctorate Degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. Ms. Thierry has practiced law for more than twenty-two years and founded her own civil and commercial law firm.  Presently, she is a principal of the Hardwick Law Firm, LLC.  


In her initial term in the Texas Legislature, Rep. Thierry successfully authored 48 pieces of legislation. She is recognized statewide and nationally for passing legislation to reduce the alarming maternal mortality and morbidity rates for Texas women. Representative Thierry was also named the “2017 Freshman Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. 


She serves on the Board of Directors for Beyond Careers, and was appointed to the Houston Endowment's Reducing Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Steering Committee. Rep. Thierry was named an "Outstanding Alumni" by the Friends of Westbury Foundation, one of the Top 30 Most Influential Women of Houston.


Martha Castex-Tatum, City of Houston Council Member District K


Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum won a special election on May 5, 2018 and was sworn in as the Houston City Council Member for District K on May 16, 2018. She currently serves on the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee, the Economic Development Committee, the Housing and Community Affairs Committee, and the Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Committee.


Martha, a native Houstonian, graduated from Lamar High School in Houston ISD. She is also a graduate of Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University, in San Marcos, TX, where she earned both her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration degrees. While in San Marcos, Martha’s desire to serve wherever she lives led her to unseat a 12-year City Council incumbent, becoming the first African-American woman to be elected in the city’s history. 


Martha continued her commitment to the district she grew up in as the Director of Constituent Services for former Council Member Larry V. Green’s office in 2015.  Martha oversaw the development of the new Southwest HPD police station. Martha has also represented the Five Corners Management District meetings



Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, Ed.D. Houston Community College-Southwest, President


As the President at Houston Community College Southwest College, Dr. Madeline Burillo-Hopkins oversees all operations at HCC’s Southwest campuses including the Centers of Excellence in Digital and Information Technology and Manufacturing and five locations with over 17,000 students per semester. 


She implemented HCC’s first career and technical education dual credit partnerships with various local school districts including HISD. In this program, students complete college certificates or associate degrees while still in high school.


In 2013, D’Mars selected her as one of Houston’s Top 30 Influential Women, and in U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee handpicked Dr. Burillo-Hopkins to speak in Washington D.C.


During her 32 years in higher education, she has held multiple administrative positions, and most recently as Associate Vice Chancellor of Workforce for HCC.


Dr. Burillo-Hopkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master’s in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University.




Ali E. Cek, Vice President of Houston CPA Society Student Auxiliary  


As the Vice President of Development Houston CPA Society Student Auxiliary, creates a strategy for development initiatives and coordinates the execution of development initiatives for the students and officers.


Professional Experience

Worked for three years as a Senior Accountant at at the Cek Accounting in Turkey, a family-owned CPA firm.  Designed around Maintaining, Auditing and Controlling daily, monthly and yearly financial records of the customers consist of different sectors. Managed and assisted in handling accounting activities. Experienced with tax, payroll, vat return. Overseen account receivable and payable, budgeting, month end closing. Prepared accurate, timely and regular financial statements and management reports. Monitored of changes in accounting and tax regulations, implementation of new regulations.



2017-2018, completed accounting courses at Houston Community College and Lone Star College to be eligible for CPA exam.


2016, Studied at Rice University English as a Second Language Program and earned advanced level of certificate.

2016, graduated from Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey with a Master’s Degree of Management.


2013, obtained his Bachelor’s Degree of Management from Fatih University in Istanbul, Turkey. 


Attended Samanyolu High School in Turkey. 



TSCPA, TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL, and ALPFA.  During 2017 Tax Filling Season, volunteered with Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to provide free tax preparation for taxpayers in the low-to-moderate income bracket.




Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Arce,  Air Force Junior ROTC cadet


A senior at Westbury High School and a fourth-year cadet in the Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program.  He is also an active member, and the team captain, of the Westbury Debate Team.  His current position in the AFJROTC program is the Senior Advisor who assists the Senior Aerospace Science and Aerospace Science Instructors manage the Corps.  His awards and decorations exceed any goals set by him or any of his subordinates, peers, or leaders of Westbury High School and the community. 


He is a three-time graduate of the AFJROTC program’s Cadet Leadership Course (CLC) which is held each summer at the University of Houston.  In his last year of CLC, he was selected as a Flight Commander where he demonstrated his exceptional leadership skills.  At the beginning of his senior year, Cadet Arce enlisted into the Marine Corps where he was assigned to be the flight lead as their “guide-on.”  His goal is to be a Marine Security Guard, serving his country.  Upon exiting the military Cadet Arce will be applying to become a Houston Police Officer where he will be serving his community.  He is a responsible, respectful, and motivated young man, cadet, and friend that many people strive to emulate.



Allen C. Goodlow Sr.,   Director 5 Corner Management District, Master of Ceremony




North Texas State University Post Graduate Secondary Education Administration, Denton, Texas; Southern Methodist University, Bachelor of Business Administration, Dallas, Texas; Mountain View Jr. College   Associates Liberal Arts Degree, Dallas, Texas; El Centro Jr. College Associates Mid-Management Degree, Dallas Texas; Graduated: San Antonio Technical & Vocational High School


MILITARY - Entered U.S. Air Force active duty, Honorable Discharged



Texas Teachers permit; Dallas ISD Special Project; El Centro Jr. College Adjunct Faculty; Houston Community College Adjunct Faculty;Houston Community College Continuing Education; Houston ISD Associate Teacher; Berlitz Language Center Houston



HawesHill & Associates LLP, Economic Development Consultant - 2011 to Present

Alpha Exams LLC, Owner/President/CEO (Ret)



HCID #5 Brays Oak Management District -Board Member (Secretary); Southwest Houston 2000, Inc. Executive Committee; National Kidney Foundation Southeast Texas- Past Board President; Glenshire Homeowners Association – Past Board President; Black Methodist for Church Renewal- Past Board President; Sloan Memorial UMC- Administrative Council Chair; American Heart Association- Houston Chapter Past VP School Site Committee; African American Health Coalition-Houston Metro Area-Past President; Houston Area Immunization Coalition- Past President


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."


Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has benefitted from the generosity of the Comerica Charitable Foundation with a $5,000 contribution in December 2017.  We thank @ComericaBank for all that they do in the community and congratulate them on their 20th anniversary!



The new tax law nearly doubled the standard deduction and changed many itemized deductions. This could affect your withholding needs. Do a #PaycheckCheckup to avoid #IRS surprises.

Itemized Deductions and Paycheck Checkup



Beyond Careers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Free Tax Preparation

in partnership with

Internal Revenue Service - Stakeholder Partnerships, Education &



For taxpayers in the low-to-moderate income bracket



Let us know if someone else can claim you as a dependent.

If you are a college student, make certain you know if anyone else can claim you.





Click on the "Contact Us" link to get e-mail for locations. 









Beyond Careers VITA volunteers are IRS-Certified at a minimum of  the Advanced level.  Most volunteers are accounting students from Houston Community College and Houston Baptist University and are eligible to have a free, one-year membership with the Houston CPA Society Student Auxiliary with a specified number of VITA events where they volunteer.  





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


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




Partnering to provide specialized training and volunteers for 1040NR non-resident student/scholars tax returns





Community Partner


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