Good Apple Awards

Yolanda Chávez Nuncio  – 2023 Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award

On October 5, Nebraska Appleseed will gather again to celebrate the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all during the 2023 Good Apple Awards. We are proud to recognize this year’s honorees.

The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes a Nebraskan who has made significant contributions to justice for all throughout their career. The award is given in the spirit of the late Jim Wolf, a founding Appleseed board member who possessed a lifelong dedication to promoting the common good. The individual is someone who, like Jim, stepped outside of the comfort of their day-to-day lives and, without thought for their own economic or political gain, devoted themselves to public service to benefit the common good while heeding the call to respond to adversarial and difficult circumstances facing others.

“Tiene mucha energía, es muy proactiva. Yolanda está en todos lados. Donde haya algo para abogar para los inmigrantes, Yolanda está allí. Es increíble como ella se entera y ella llega, y está presente para poder informar a la comunidad. 

She has so much energy and is very proactive. Yolanda is everywhere. Wherever there is something or some way to advocate for immigrants, Yolanda is there. It’s incredible how she finds out about different spaces and gets there. She makes sure she’s there so she can share what’s going on with the community.”  – Gloria Sarmiento, Senior Community Organizer – Immigrants & Communities

“Yolanda is a powerhouse of community energy with a deep passion for youth leadership. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people from all across the state say, “I really got involved when Yolanda Nuncio encouraged me…” If the community needs something, she’s there. Her dedication and collaboration have connected so many people in an incredible tapestry of action and positive change across Nebraska.”Darcy Tromanhauser, Program Director – Immigrants & Communities

Yolanda Chávez Nuncio is a dedicated community organizer and advocate who has made a significant impact in various areas of social justice and community service. Her passion for fostering inclusivity and empowering marginalized communities is evident through her extensive involvement in different initiatives.

Yolanda’s commitment to education and cultural representation is exemplified by her work as a substitute teacher at GICC, where she organized a school-wide Spanish language mass. This event provided an important platform for students of color to actively participate in the school community and celebrate their heritage. Yolanda’s bilingualism and her role as a lector further showcased her dedication to bridging language and cultural barriers.

Recognizing the importance of civic engagement and representation, Yolanda served on the Parish Council at her church and initiated voter registration drives for over 20 years. Her efforts to empower new Americans to exercise their right to vote have resulted in hundreds of newly registered voters. Additionally, Yolanda’s commitment to community well-being led her to partner with the health department to organize vaccination clinics during the pandemic, providing much-needed protection for families and the community.

Yolanda’s involvement extends beyond her immediate community. She has volunteered at the southern border, offering support and assistance to asylum seekers and collaborating with various organizations. Her commitment to immigrant rights and social justice is also evident in her work during immigration raids, where she organized emergency aid, mental health support, and legal assistance for affected families.

Throughout her extensive community work, Yolanda has demonstrated resilience, compassion, and a strong sense of social responsibility. Her dedication to education, advocacy, and empowerment has positively impacted the lives of many, making her a true agent of change in her community and beyond.

“Yolanda is the ‘go-to’ person in Grand Island! She is known throughout the community (and beyond!) as someone who folks can go to with almost any question or problem, knowing she will often have an answer, or will go to great lengths to help search for one! She is a trusted leader in the community whose door is always open — whether it’s connecting community members to scholarship opportunities, food resources, or their members of Congress. 

She has been a longtime community leader and advocate, active during the Chicano movement in the 60s and 70s and continuing to mentor and support community members today. She is retired and still working full time on community issues, resources and support. 

A result of her deep community knowledge and relationships is that when she calls on community members to ‘show up, ‘they do!  Holding a colorful banner of hundreds of stories from immigrant Nebraskans and families calling for positive immigration laws, she made calls to community members and nonprofit partners who immediately gathered in the park ready to deliver the banner that same day to Congressman Smith.” – Vanessa Martinez, Organizing Manager – Immigrants & Communities

Join us in celebrating Yolanda Chávez Nuncio at the 2023 Good Apple Awards on October 5, 2023 or make a donation in honor of this year’s honorees. For more information, contact Drew Duncan at

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