Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Fritz Allhoff

Second Advisor

Thomas Schultz


Each year, a select group of students from Western Michigan University volunteer to participate in the Volunteer Tax and Loan Program. This program is run by the Alaska Business Development Center (ABDC): a nonprofit corporation that provides free tax services to rural Alaskan residents. This reflection essay provides an overview of my experience volunteering for the program in 2017 and 2018.

Through both of my volunteer trips, I prepared nearly 170 tax returns, stayed in four different villages, traveled on both small and large airplanes, and had some remarkable experiences. Some of the most memorable experiences include native Eskimo dancing, seeing ice fishing and dog sledding, talking with the local people, trying all sorts of native food, and experiencing the adventures that come with traveling throughout rural Alaska. Overall, the Volunteer Tax and Loan Program provided me with an amazing opportunity to learn a new skill and experience a new culture while helping to provide needed tax services to local residents. I would recommend this volunteer opportunity to anyone looking to go on an adventure while building his or her skill set.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted