Dr. Sarah Nuñez

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I moved to Asheville in 1997 from Raleigh, North Carolina. I was born in Bogota Colombia and raised in North Carolina. After 18 years in Asheville (in 2015),  I moved to Louisville Kentucky where I lived for seven years and I recently returned to Western North Carolina (2021) to be closer to family and the land, mountains, and people that I love so much!

Give us a glimpse into your role at United Way. How do you help us fulfill our mission? What are you most excited about accomplishing as a team?

I provide leadership, creativity, and strategy for the backbone organizational role for United for Youth. With our amazing team, we support the work of the collective towards our bold community goal and we engage a spectrum of community partners who are committed to equity and educational excellence. I'm excited to help lead this community-wide work, try new things, and build systems of support with our community partners, families, and students.

What’s your favorite thing about our community?

The mountains, land, plants, fauna and weather. I also love to see how the community is building strong ties to fight the systems of oppression together while also dreaming of what we can become. 

What would we find you doing when you aren’t at work?

In my herb sanctuary, organizing with Aflorar Herb Collective and local orgs that I love, playing with my dog, Willow, or sewing with my friends.

Do you have any podcast, book, music, or movie recommendations?

So many and really depends on the genre. I love On Being, by Krista Tippett for a podcast. I am currently reading The Land in Our Bones by Layla K. Feghali and loved Becoming bell hooks recently shown on Kentucky Educational Television (KET).

Tell us about any committees or associations you are a part of and/or awards/recognitions you’ve received.

Board Member for Colaborativa La Milpa and Acupuncture Free Clinics of Asheville


  • University of Louisville - College Student Personnel Program Excellence in Scholarship Award (2023) for dissertation, Uncovering Traditional Healing Practices Among Latinx College Students in El Nuevo Sur.
  • Jefferson County Public Schools- Educators of Color, Unapologetic Higher Education Award (2019)
  • YWCA Tribute to Women of Influence Award (2011)​

Favorite Quote.

"These are the times that grow our souls” -- Grace Lee Boggs

I love this quote because I believe that we all have so many gifts to bring to our communities. In these times we can stretch, grow, and listen to how we can create new ways of being and “grow our souls”.