There is an undeniable spirit and force to Quetcy Lozada, Vice President of Community Organizing at Esperanza, that is palpable from the first handshake to the last sentence of a conversation.
Her passion for community, people, and personal growth is reflected in the long, hard work she has put into educating everyone, particularly Latinos, about the importance of testing and vaccinating to stem the disproportionate amount of sickness and death brought on by COVID-19 in the Latino community.
“I advocated for a vaccination site here (at Esperanza),” said Lozada. “For some, it was just too much to go to Center City to get vaccinated, and they wouldn’t go to the Liacouras Center or Convention Center. We went out and knocked on doors and pulled people out who didn’t have access to the Internet and got them registered.”
“When Temple reached out to Esperanza,” she continued, “they wanted someone to be a part of its trusted messenger campaign in telling folks about vaccinations and why masks are important. The timing couldn’t have been better.”
“When the vaccinations came about, I was nervous about getting it, but I knew I had to set an example,” said Lozada. “My parents and daughter are vaccinated but another close family member is not. They are still waiting to see how other people fare in the community.”
Passion for Family and Community
A mother of two and recent graduate of Lincoln University with an MBA in Human Resources after completing undergraduate courses, making her the first in her family to not only graduate from college, but with two degrees over a 20-year journey. Despite the many obstacles and challenges along the way, she never wavered in her commitment to community.
“My Mom and Dad have always been involved in church life,” she said. “Wherever I’ve lived, I always felt compelled to serve just like them.”
Her service included working for 13 years with Councilwoman Maria Sanchez, and she has done everything from helping to plant trees, to providing people with information on how to avoid foreclosure on their homes.
“When COVID hit, our main purpose was to let people know they had access to testing right in their community and to provide as much information as possible,” she said.
What It Means to Lead
“It’s also important not to lie to people,” she continued. “I didn’t hide the fact the shot made me a little sick, but it wasn’t anything you couldn’t manage, and certainly not like having COVID itself.”
After delivering her personal story door-to-door, she would leave forms and information on the virus.
As the outreach drew more people, Temple University Hospital in partnership with the Miriam Medical Clinics, came together with Esperanza to provide vaccinations at the organization’s headquarters in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia.
“It has taken all of us,’ she said. “The vaccinations distributed here weren’t just for Latinos. It was for everyone. We are all in this together.”