Build Up Omaha Award Spotlight:Lucía Pedroza

Lucía Pedroza was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She came to the United States at the age of 12, and grew up in Hastings, Nebraska. Through her work as the Senior Organizer at the Heartland Workers Center (HWC), she has been able to develop her leadership through civic engagement. One of the HWC’s main goals is finding, training, and developing community leaders who will be acting together to make change happen.  She is also pursuing a Sociology degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Currently, she serves as a board member for the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table and is part of the Women’s Fund of Omaha’s Policy Advising Committee.

She is also the mother of two boys, Santiago and Andre. She finds inspiration for her work through her children, family, and friends. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising and spending time with her kids at home.  Lucía hopes to help build communities that work for all people and create a more just and human society for future generations.

This is what her nominator had to say about Lucía, “Lucía is a great example of someone who has become empowered and has then begun to empower others. Empowering others is no easy feat, yet imagine working is this challenging space on top of being a student and a mother. Lucia already has a challenging responsibility to raise two young sons, yet Lucía did not shy away from the opportunity to make a lasting impact in her community. She is a full-time community organizer at the Heartland Worker’s Center.

In the past few years HWC has strived to engage Latinos in South Omaha in our civic processes. They canvas around election time encouraging residents to go out and vote, they host voter registration drive, and also host educational forums. That is only part of the work though. A larger and more important piece is the strategizing that goes into planning all these activities. As of recently, HWC has employed a method of bringing together community residents to discuss the issues in their community and develop solutions together.

Beyond HWC, Lucía is the Chair for the Nebraska Latino/a PAC. A political action committee made up of a dozen or so Latinos who wanted to make a bigger impact in the election process beyond voting. A PAC funded by and led by all Latino community members is important not only to show other Latinos the impact that participating in addition to voting can have, but also to build relationships with candidates for office.

In her responsibilities as Chair, Lucía brings all PAC members together to set the PAC’s platform, which guides the work of the PAC. Through her work at HWC and the NELPAC Lucía is helping to cultivate leaders who are civically engaged. Self-empowerment is a beautiful thing, but it is more beautiful and impactful when it is then shared. Empowering others is leadership, and it is what Lucia does every day.

We are excited to honor Lucía and all of her hard work!

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