Civic Nebraska Honoring Valeria Rodriguez as a Community Builder

Civic Nebraska Honoring Valeria Rodriguez as a Community Builder
Valeria Rodriguez, being honored by Civic Nebraska as their 2022 Strengthening Democracy Community Builder (Courtesy Photo)
May 31st, 2022 | Scott Miller

The group Civic Nebraska is honoring a Scottsbluff woman as one of five everyday Nebraskans demonstrating exceptional civic leadership and the group’s vision of a collaborative, innovative democratic society.

Valeria Rodriguez, a co-founder of the group Empowering Families, has been named the organization’s 2022 Strengthening Democracy Community Builder for increasing access to opportunities for all Panhandle residents.

Rodriguez, who immigrated from Mexico, tells KNEB News she was very excited to be selected for the honor. “Since growing up, I wanted to create change in our community, and you know, coming back from college, and throughout college been doing a lot of work, and founded an organization,” said Rodriguez. “And s,o this is really the first award that I’ve ever received for the work that I’ve done throughout my life.”

Empowering Families builds a stronger community through education, civic participation, and individual empowerment. Rodriguez says the group formed after a 2017 meeting of minority community leaders in which they discussed how issues kept coming up but were not being addressed.

“That’s when we realized that an organization that was needed to really advocate for our community members, ensuring that our community is educated on really how to build a collective power, how can they go to city council and raise a concern. For their children how can they approach their school board if there’s an issue, or even their Principal. And so it’s really building and really empowering our families to be advocates and to utilize their voice to create change,” said Rodriguez.

She’s also the host of the annual Multicultural Youth Leadership Conference that draws in about 200 students from throughout the region, and most recently has been involved in voter education and turnout efforts.

She will be honored along with four other award winners in a ceremony in Lincoln June 9.


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