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Oct 19

Every Seat Has a Story: Alicia

Posted on October 19, 2023 at 4:49 PM by Theo Wade

Catch her if you can. 

Alicia is a mom of three with two young grandchildren. She has two businesses and a full-time job. And by this time next year, she’ll be making her biggest move yet. She was born and raised in Rock Island, but she’s leaving the Quad Cities for her new home in Jamaica. 

“I have good friends over there, and my boyfriend is there,” she explained. “He’s a woodcarver with his own shop. Together we are going to enhance that shop and make it more of a convenience store. We are super excited about that.” 

To keep up with her busy life, Alicia has always relied on Metro. Her parents gave her the freedom to ride the bus starting in junior high school. Now she rides daily to work, run errands and visit friends. 

“The things I like most about riding Metro are the comfort and affordability,” Alicia said. “The drivers are very caring and friendly.”

Every day, she jumps off the bus onto the van that serves as a mobile blood donation unit for ImpactLife. As a traveling phlebotomist, she works one-on-one with blood donors to draw their blood, make conversation and with each pint, save lives. 

“One donation can go to three to four different people,” she said. “So not only are you saving one life, but you can also be saving three to four different lives.”

Alicia was introduced to blood donation through her father’s need for blood while he fought cancer. Now he’s 81, still living in their Rock Island home and still driving. Family stories, like her own, are just one reason she loves her job.

“I like meeting people, talking with them and hearing what brings them there to donate,” she said. “I have a great rapport with my donors.”

As much as she loves being busy, she’s ready to start living life on island time. 

“I found my happy place in Jamaica,” she said. “I love the sound of the ocean at night, I love the natives and the way they take care of each other. I am excited to be somewhere I can breathe and be myself.”

At any speed, thanks to Metro and her dreams for tomorrow, Alicia is going places. 

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