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Weitz Insights

A group of eleven people including Nebraska Appleseed staff, the Well staff, and impacted community members at a press conference to end the lifetime ban on SNAP access for Nebraskans with certain felonies. All are holding signs with various messages.

Carleton Weitz Fellows | April 9, 2024

Weitz Fellow Voices: Amber at Nebraska Appleseed

By Amber Lozoya

This is a guest blog written by one of our Weitz Fellows, Amber Lozoya. This blog is estimated to take 3 minutes to read.

Hi y’all! My name is Amber Lozoya and I am the Weitz Fellow at Nebraska Appleseed, a non-profit organization that fights for social justice for all Nebraskans! We have four programs in which we hone our work: Health Care Access, Child Welfare, Immigrants and Communities and Economic Justice. Through three strategies–community organizing, policy, and legal work–Appleseed is able to make effective changes in Nebraska. I started with Appleseed in August 2023. I am originally from Houston, Texas, so it was difficult moving to a new state and starting a new job all on my own, but perseverance and independence guided me. I am the first person in my family to receive a high school degree and college diploma, so leaving my family behind wasn’t easy. However, I had other Weitz Fellows and Appleseed’s staff as a strong support system.

The fellowship for me has been an opportunity to grow in my personal and professional interests. Appleseed has provided me with immense opportunities for my growth. I started off attending events with the Immigrants and Communities organizers. I really enjoyed these events as most of the attendees were people who reminded me of myself, my family, and those in my neighborhood back in Texas. It was a really rewarding and fulfilling experience giving back to those who reflect what I came from. I then moved to the Economic Justice program where I do some organizing with housing advocacy and community potlucks. Here, I help support Collective Impact Lincoln (CIL), which is a partnership between Appleseed and Civic Nebraska and their efforts to ensure affordable housing in Nebraska.

Lastly, the program I am most involved in is the Health Care Access program. As a native Spanish speaker, being without my family/culture has definitely caused me to lose some of my Spanish. However, I assist in the Health Care program in the Spanish capacity. I help Appleseed reach a broader community by providing resources, speaking to impacted community members in Spanish, and simply connecting with them. I have been able to improve my Spanish and once again assist a community that reflects my own. I also co-facilitate a cohort, in which we teach community members advocacy skills.

Appleseed has positively impacted my advocacy work and provided me with growth opportunities in my area of interest. I graduated college with a Sociology/ Anthropology degree and I did my senior thesis on prisons. All that to say, I am really interested in the criminal legal system and its effects on people of color, low-income folx, and first-generation Americans. Through Appleseed, I have been able to network and collaborate with other organizations that do more work in my area of interest. My biggest highlight has been able to volunteer in Nebraska’s prison and being a representation for people of color. I also attended a policy seminar in D.C. to advocate for higher education for low-income, first generation students and I felt prepared because of Appleseed’s projects.

I am extremely grateful to the Weitz Family Foundation for this opportunity that has allowed me to grow and learn. Additionally, I am grateful and privileged to be part of such an amazing group of human beings at Nebraska Appleseed. Their hard work and dedication to ensure social justice for all Nebraskans is an inspiration and very motivating. I am excited to see where I will take my skills upon the completion of the fellowship.


A large group of people.

A group of 17 people standing close together posed for the photo in a residential neighborhood with large trees.

Carleton Weitz Fellows | May 31, 2022

What is a Weitz Fellow? And how do I get one?

By Katie Weitz, PhD

The Weitz Family has a deep relationship with Carleton College. […]

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