An Ariva Staff Feature
“You need to be where you are needed.” – Sidy Diakhate, Sr. Financial Counselor at Ariva
At Ariva, we see ourselves as more than an organization offering free tax prep and financial counseling in NYC. We provide social services of all kinds to New Yorkers and immigrants to support them on their financial journeys. This couldn’t be done without the fantastic help done by our staff and volunteers. In this article, we shed light on a long-time member of our team who has aided in shaping Ariva into what it is today. Meet Sidy Diakhate!
Sidy, who migrated to the US from Senegal in 2004, came to New York in 2010. He has always had a passion for community service. With an exceptional background and talent for speaking six languages, including Spanish, Sidy participated in many high school and college volunteer opportunities. He translated for immigrants and tutored school kids while studying abroad in Mexico. He joined the Ariva team in 2011 with no previous financial experience, but has worked hard, continued to learn and has been transforming lives ever since.
“I’ve always wanted to be a change-maker and be part of a team who gives back,” says Sidy.
You don’t need previous experience in tax preparation NYC or financial counseling NYC to make an impact, and Sidy is proof of that. His compassion for others and willingness to learn made him the perfect fit at Ariva. Once he completed our training program, Sidy began working as a tax preparer. What keeps him motivated is helping people use the financial system as an effective tool or asset and getting people closer to achieving their dreams.
“I identify with them to some extent because I was once in their shoes. I wish I had learned about how the financial system worked when I was younger because I did go through some difficulties managing finances,” Sidy shares.
But his personal experience is what makes him not only a highly-skilled certified financial counselor but also an empathetic one. Throughout his time at Ariva, Sidy noticed a need to improve the financial literacy skills among our clients. It’s one thing to help people get tax refunds, but it’s another to educate them on how to manage their new income wisely. He created a program to teach people unfamiliar with the U.S. financial system how to navigate credit and personal finance through workshops and one-on-one counseling. This was the catalyst for what would become our successful financial counseling program.
Sidy also helped launch the Small Business Program, assisting people to apply for work permits and licenses for selling on streets and other entrepreneurial services.
Sidy now works as a Senior Financial Counselor at the Mexican Consulate and the Bronx. He guides New Yorkers and immigrants through the financial landscape to help them build a better relationship with money. He aspires to equip his clients to handle predatory lenders and crooked financial institutions. Sidy encourages all to take advantage of what Ariva offers, including our free tax filing NYC and free financial counseling NYC.
We’re incredibly grateful to have Sidy on our team and his impact over the years. He encourages anyone to reach out to him and his team, if you need guidance.
“The work speaks for itself. Don’t be afraid to seek help. There are a lot of free and confidential opportunities in the city, including our program,” he says.
He also encourages anyone willing to learn to consider volunteer in our free tax preparation program.
“If you want to give back to the community in your spare time, this is the right place.” – Sidy Diakhate, Sr. Financial Counselor at Ariva.
Whether you have a background in finance or not, we hope this story inspires you to give back to the community through our mission. Becoming a volunteer has many benefits, including free IRS-certified training and the opportunity to meet people from all backgrounds in finance.