Sara Peña, lives in Newark, New Jersey, along with her family, where she was born, raised and educated. Her mother was born in Ecuador and her father in Dominican Republic. Ms. Peña is the Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development at the NJ Department of State.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Kean University and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University in Newark, and was inducted into the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration, Pi Alpha Alpha.
Inspired by her son, Anthony, Ms. Peña founded the Boys to Leaders Foundation. Its mission is to empower and motivate young men by providing leadership training, educational programs, and positive personal and professional development. One of the many benefits from the Latino Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by her organization, is the ability to promote a culture of communication that will translate into sustainable results for the future.
Serving on the Executive Board of LUPE Fund, Inc., an organization dedicated to the empowerment of all Latinas in New Jersey, has also given her the opportunity to serve on committees engaging our youth. She currently serves as the President, has served in the capacity of Treasurer; Co-Chair of the Young Latina Leadership Conference; Chair of the Scholarship Committee; and is actively involved in engaging Latinas in the LUPE mission, to Empower, Educate, and Engage women from all walks of life through leadership, advocacy, and education to benefit all communities and to elevate the status of women.
Ms. Peña participated in the Emerge New Jersey's inaugural class of 2014. The organization’s mission is to inspire women to run, and its goal is to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.
Newark Mayor, Ras J. Baraka appointed her to the Commission on Status of Women in March 2015. Members serve as Ambassadors, policy-makers for women’s issues, advocates for community outreach, and mayor advisors on city issues.
Ms. Peña is a fellow graduate of the Leadership Newark Program, which focuses on public policy and issues that affect the city as well as various community engagement projects.
Sara has volunteered at the Immigration Department at La Casa De Don Pedro, whose purpose is to serve those who have been victims of serious crimes by ensuring those individuals are provided with the right legal services and to educate them on the applicability of various Immigration Laws; Annual Newark Women’s Conference sponsored by Councilwoman Mildred Crump. She also served as the Chair on the Board of Trustee to Roseville Community Charter School and on the Newark Pre-School Council Board.