Antonio is a Chicago born activist and service provider with love and flare for the arts and the community built from them. As the oldest of six, Antonio has treasured the value of being a leader among his peers and prefers to lead by example in his approach to work – trying his best to embody the frameworks and ideals he seeks to spread into the world. He prefers artistic expression through the writing of poetry and understands the need of using art as a means of healing and transformation.
Antonio has worked as a health testing agent in the medical field, as an outreach coordinator, and has helped create curriculum for artistic programming with various organizations. He believes that people should be free to love, laugh, cry, and learn as needed!
Iyere (Malia) is a Nigerian Latina American Transwoman native of Springfield, Illinois who spent most of her life in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Malia is a self-taught dancer who started on a church dance team, then moved on to choreographing for dance teams around Colorado Springs. She has multiple talents in the performing arts but focuses on ballet, modern and contemporary, liturgical, and Afro-fusion.
She moved to Chicago in 2015 and joined the Youth Empowerment Performance Project, using her passion for performing arts to help others, and becoming one of YEPP’s first full-time staff members in 2017. As the organization’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Malia worked to further YEPP's mission to end LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and now works with YEPP on a consultant basis. Malia also gained her HIV counseling/tester certification through The Chicago House Community Health Apprenticeship Program and has always aspired to contribute to organizations that make a positive impact in the world.
Meg is a born and raised queer MexiRican from Chicago, they serve as a Youth Advisory Board Member and Secretary. Meg studied at DePaul University where she majored in Peace, Justice and Conflict studies with a minor in Gender Studies. She loves creating space for vulnerability and transformative healing in their interpersonal communities. She also enjoys watching documentaries about prehistoric animals. For Meg, a good end to their night is winding down with a cup of tea in hand and lo-fi music playing in the background.