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|Graduate Degree: Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Areas of interest: Economic Development and Social Services
Mentor: Joan Wallace Benjamin, Executive Director, The Home for Little Wanderers
Agency: Mayor's Office, City of Boston
Supervisors: Chris Osgood, Special Advisor to the Mayor and Mimi Turchinetz, Boston EITC Campaign Director
Project description: As a fellow in the Office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Kristen worked with the Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition to analyze the tax preparation process at the two busiest free tax sites located in Roxbury and Dorchester. Her main research question was how these sites can provide increased asset development support services while helping the maximum amount of taxpayers. To find her answer, Kristen spent time at both sites interviewing the site directors and experiencing the processes first hand. She also conducted a best practices search by contacting site coordinators from across the country and learning about their operations. In the end, Kristen recommended an improved intake process and benefit screening program that should both increase participation at the sites and the quality and quantity of asset development services the tax payers receive next tax season.