Sara Diaz recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master's in Accountancy. She is currently studying for the CPA exams as she works towards her CPA license. Her goal is to work for an accounting firm and specialize in non-profit accounting. In this manner, Sara combines her passion for accounting and giving back to underserved communities.
Sara was born in Durango, Mexico, and was brought to San Francisco's Mission District as an infant. She grew up in the Mission's diverse racial and ethnic communities, influenced by the immigrant and Latino/Chicano culture. Sara grew up watching her family and other members of the community work hard but barely make enough to cover their basic expenses, or making poor financial decisions due to their lack of financial literacy. She and many others in her community dropped out of school at a young age to work minimum-wage jobs. Thanks to the aid of non-profits and school organizations that help minority groups, immigrants, and undocumented communities, Sara found the guidance, support, and mentorship to return to school as an older student. She completed her high school, Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees in the past ten years.
Sara is proud to have participated in the Puente Program, VIDA (Voice of Immigrants Demonstrating Achievement), and the Latino Network Services at City College of San Francisco. She was also a part of various organizations at San Francisco State University, such as IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equity, Access, and Success), DRC (Dream Resource Center) Advisory Board, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America), as well as a becoming a lifetime member of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor society for accounting and finance students and professionals. She served three tax seasons as an IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program volunteer, preparing free taxes for low-income communities.
For her DreamSF Fellowship, Sara is joining the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) Asset Building Programs team. She will participate in various programs that aid the Mission and Latino communities in building wealth by providing them with the necessary tools to prosper financially. Sara will practice the skills she acquired from her business and accounting courses, her budgeting and bookkeeping skills as treasurer for IDEAS and Beta Alpha Psi, and her experience preparing individual taxes as a VITA volunteer tax preparer. Sara will help clients make a budget, build credit, obtain loans for business or homeownership, offer free tax services, and align other resources for the Latino and underserved communities. As a longtime resident of the Mission affected by violence and gentrification, coming back to her childhood neighborhood to enhance the socio-economic welfare of her community is a pivotal point in her life.