Honoring Heroes Who Are Making A Difference

Roper & Sons in Lincoln had the honor of honoring heroes who are making a difference with the 2023 Here’s To The Heroes Award.

Roper & Sons in Lincoln, Nebraska had the honor of recognizing two individuals who represent the essence of what it means to be a hero with the 2023 Here’s To The Heroes Award.

“We are continually inspired by and honored to shine a light on individuals who make a tremendous impact in our community,” said Rebecca Kouma Shane, Director of Outreach and Marketing.

Nominations for 2023 reflected the work being done by many deserving individuals, from teachers, to caregivers, to police officers. The nominees showed how their acts of kindness in the community can have a long-term impact on many lives. While every person was deserving of the 2023 Here’s To The Heroes Award, narrowing the list of nominees was difficult for Roper & Sons’ selection committee. The following individuals were honored this year.

Daniel Martinez, 2023 Winner

Daniel Martinez is a Music and Culture touring and teaching artist with the Nebraska Arts Council, and a Teaching Artist for The Lied Center for Performing Arts and through LPS.

For more than five years, Daniel has taught through music, using it to celebrate diversity and to fight discrimination, promoting inclusion through music and culture. With the help of worthy community organizations, he helps kids with disabilities find new and expanded ways to express their abilities and creativity by building instruments with recycled items. For the past two years, Daniel has been blessed with the opportunity to work with the youth in the Lincoln community who have found themselves born into challenging situations. Where others may see a troubled and menacing youth, Daniel sees potential, celebrating each one’s uniqueness. He works with these marginalized kids, helping them to find healthy ways to express their feelings through the poetic expressions of rapping or song writing.

Daniel grew up in Iquitos, Peru. He first picked up the guitar as a young teen at the encouragement of his mother. But it wasn’t until he moved to the United States in 2002 that he started to take his music seriously. It was then that he honed his skills through the mastery of classical guitar training, preparing for and winning national guitar competitions. Daniel has performed in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and all across the United States. He is also well known in the Lincoln music scene as a Flamenco guitarist and composer, playing all musical styles including Latin rhythms, with the band Jarana.

Daniel’s relentless quest to help shape our youth, his attention to diversity and inclusion, and his ability to see the beauty in every person, he is a true hero in our community.

Nia Kaufmann, 2023 Honoree

Nia Kaufmann is a junior Entomology major from Bennington, Nebraska. Having grown up with a large family, Nia has always been committed to supporting those around her. Through good times and bad, she puts the needs of others first without expecting anything in return. She cares about everyone and everything, from a total stranger to a little ant on the sidewalk.

As a first-generation college student, she has worked very hard to overcome challenges and still makes sure to give back to her community. In particular, Nia strives to make environmental education more accessible to everyone, especially to children. As an entomologist, she works to break down the negative stigma around insects and dedicates time to educating children about insects and how they are an essential part of our world. Her passion for teaching about the grand world of tiny insects is evident and can be seen in the joyous faces of children as she provides hands-on learning. She has led countless presentations for children combining art and science, teaching them that insects can be our friends and that our planet depends on them. Inspired by Nia’s passion for the smallest among us, we recognized her as our 2023 Here’s to the Heroes Honoree.

Roper & Sons congratulates Daniel and Nia, and all of the nominees. You are all winners in our hearts.

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