Moving Forward: Strong roots helping the local community grow

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OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — From a young age, Cecilia Saavedra enjoyed the outdoors with her mom and grandma. They’re the ones who planted the seed in her head to love gardening.

“I’ve always been very hands-on,” she said. “I feel like, just working with the plants and outdoors, I was able to feel very comfortable. It was my passion and I wanted to make something out of my passion as a career.”

She graduated from Metro Community College’s horticulture land systems management program and is now studying environmental science at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) to become a food policy researcher.

Her goal is for everyone to have access to healthy foods — especially in the Latino community where she saw struggling firsthand during the pandemic.

“I think what we learned during this time is that there’s a lot of low-income families that are unable to afford food and having access to food in their garden will help them out in being self-sufficient in the future,” she said.

Since last March, Cecilia has grown into an agriculture leader in the community.