Economic Justice. Financial Inclusion. Opportunity for All.

Helping Build Financially
Empowered Lives

Here at Ariva, we exist to help residents of New York City build financially-empowered and prosperous lives. Our goal is to understand the needs and experiences of the people we serve. We are grateful to be part of a network of change-makers, and our staff, volunteers, and community partners offer honesty and reliability in every exchange, offering care, kindness, and hope throughout every interaction.

We commit to the security and the growth of our communities by sharing resources and strategically partnering with community-based organizations who understand local needs so that we can remove barriers to financial and economic access—particularly for people traditionally excluded from current systems—together.

Not only do we offer a high-caliber experience, but we also recruit and train knowledgeable volunteers who return to work with us year after year. We continually improve and adapt our programs to serve the cultural and financial needs of our communities.

We provide free financial counseling as well as free tax preparation services in NYC, at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, where we have been headquartered since 2003.

Our History

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Since our founding in 2003, Ariva has led an economic and systemic shift to change the narrative of the Bronx, working to create financial and economic equity in typically underserved communities. We continue to have a particular focus on serving the South Bronx, though we have since expanded to other boroughs, providing services in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

We have grown from a small free income tax preparation program serving just a few hundred people to providing free, comprehensive financial capabilities services to over 15,000 people in NYC each year. Our services include free financial education and counseling, free tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, asset-building support, and assistance with public benefits access.

We work to promote innovation, provide access, and inspire hope for New Yorkers so that they can successfully move toward resiliency, economic stability, and long-term wealth building.

Our Annual Impact

15,000+ Neighbors Served

Ariva provided comprehensive services to 15,037 of our neighbors in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, & Queens. We’ve been also selected by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs to run five Financial Empowerment Centers in the Bronx—a testament to the high quality of our services and deep commitment to our community.

12,000+ Tax Returns Filed

Since our founding, we’ve prepared more than 100,000 tax returns for New York City residents, returning $170+ million in refunds, with the help of more than 200 volunteers! We believe everyone deserves safe, reliable tax prep and look forward to serving New Yorkers in 2020 and beyond.

$20 Million In Tax Refunds

In 2019, through our VITA tax preparation program, we helped more than 11,000 eligible New Yorkers file their taxes and secure critical refund dollars. Along with about 40 community-based partners, we brought $20,484,693 in refunds back to the low-income communities we serve.

Our Team

Administration
Irene Baldwin

Irene Baldwin
Executive Director

Roy Nielsen

Roy Nielsen
Fiscal Director

Tax Program
Katherine Cepeda

Katherine Cepeda
Administrative Assistant

Libretta Champagne

Libretta Champagne
Senior Tax Preparer

Ambernicole Misserello

Ambernicole Misserello
Volunteer Coordinator

Maribel Montilla

Maribel Montilla
Tax Program Director

Financial Counseling Team
Hansel Ackland

Hansel Ackland
Senior Financial Counselor

Felix Arellano

Felix Arellano
Financial Counselor

Greg Blackmon

Greg Blackmon
Project Coordinator

Sidy Diakhate

Sidy Diakhate
Senior Financial Counselor

Andrew Erway

Andrew Erway
Financial Counselor

Guillermina Fernandez

Guillermina Fernandez
Program Manager

Monica Garcia

Monica Garcia
Financial Counselor

Guari Gonzalez

Guari Gonzalez
Financial Counselor

Madelyn Mejia

Madelyn Mejia
Senior Financial Counselor

Adelaida Morin

Adelaida Morin
Senior Program Director

Our Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Lemuria Alawode-El, Chair
James Buckley, Vice Chair
Christopher Nicholson, Treasurer
Heng Ly, Secretary

Astrid Andre
Nicholas Arture
Will Bressman
Steven Flax

Kathleen Scott
David Shuffler
Teri Wade
LaKia Williams