Meet Alicia T. Vega
Alicia has dedicated her life to advocating for and supporting children and youth. She founded QYES: Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality and is currently the Executive Director of Changing Worlds. She is a Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Inductee, a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and named one of Chicago’s Top Latina Leaders in Philanthropy and Government by Make It Better.
What do you think about when you are alone?
When I am alone, I try to clear my mind and not think about anything. I listen to my heartbeat, feel the pulse of the earth, breathe intentionally and sometimes repeat a prayer over and over until all the outside noise goes away. This sometimes can take a very long time, but worth the efforts.
What expression or saying do you love? (or which one do you hate?)
Worry is wasted imagination. If the thing we worry about actually happens, we have caused ourselves to suffer twice.
If you had to change careers what would you want to do?
If I changed careers I would definitely be an actress. Whenever I get a chance to role-play, I jump at it and find it a nice escape into imagination.
Tell us about a time you surprised yourself
I heard about a poetry writing workshop some years ago and thought I would check it out. I had never written any poetry before and was just looking for something different to do. I wrote my first poem and then recited it at a spoken word event. To me, it was very serious piece and not anything very impressive. When I recited it the audience had such a strong reaction and found it to be very sexy, sassy and funny. It startled me when they first laughed so strongly but then I found myself fueled by their reaction and I played into it and transitioned from reading it to performing it. I have grown as a spoken word artist since that day and this first poem remained one of my signature pieces called “What a Woman Wants”. I was surprised that I had a spoken word artist inside of me. I am grateful to La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word Collective for birthing my inner poetic.
When do you feel most at peace?
I feel most at peace when I am surrounding by fierce youth leaders and when I am co-leading LGBT ministries with my lovely wife Sofia. I see hope for the future when I get to witness young people in action, learn from their stories, and see the beauty of life through their eyes. When I co-lead ministries with my wife, I feel in alignment with the universe and gain a sense of serenity and collective purpose. When these 2 pieces come together, youth + LGBT ministry work, I am in my flow!
Photo Credit: Jamie Kelter Davis Photography