Massimiliano "Massi" Saitta, a sophomore double majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social work with minors in Human Rights Studies and Spanish, is an outstanding campus and community leader who is fully committed to addressing barriers faced by marginalized communities. Massi is distinctly remarkable for his personal dedication to building his own leadership so he can impact policy and support community change. An active member of the campus and external community, he serves as a Program Manager for the Maverick Food Pantry, mentor for other first generation students, and an intern for a local organization supporting youth literacy.
I grew up in South Omaha, specifically a Hispanic neighborhood below the poverty line, called the “barrio.” Living in the “barrio,” I witnessed the long-lasting impacts of houselessness, police negligence, and intersectional discrimination of my identities. These experiences amplified my passion for serving the underrepresented and oppressed. Pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Work, with a double minor in Human Right Studies and Spanish will strengthen my ability to grow as an individual and leader by teaching others, providing resources, advocating for the oppressed, and serving and supporting historically disadvantaged communities. With my education, I hope to make changes in policy that directly impact marginalized communities. My role as a Program Manager in the Collaborative provides me with opportunities to collaborate with peers, serve nonprofits that contribute to the advancement of the Omaha community, and give back to UNO by assisting with the Maverick Food Pantry. I’ve gained insight into how I want to continue addressing social issues through my life experiences, higher education, and employment as well as my determination and ambition to be a modern face in change for the future wellbeing of others. Through the Newman Civic Fellowship, I plan to do so.