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‘I don’t see color’

photoAlicia Green gets a kiss from Samson, one of her two dogs, outside of her mother’s Purcellville home Feb. 3. Green says she loves having much of her extended family nearby and visits them frequently. Her mother also shares her love of animals; they have two dogs each, her mother has a cat and houses Alicia’s ferret. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny

To say Alicia Green is the daughter every parent dreams of isn’t a stretch.

What’s the most important aspect of Green’s life?

“I’m very serious about my education,” she quickly says.

What does Green plan to do in her dream career?

Advocate for the elderly.

“I’ve seen a lot of elderly people being taken advantage of, and it’s because they didn’t have any family or friends close to them to speak for them or represent them,” Green says. “I feel like I could be that person to guide them in the right direction.”

A lifelong resident of Loudoun County, with a broad base of family in the region, Green, 26, is a business analyst one at Middleburg Bank, where she researches the current market, analyzes trends and maintains several databases.

Kind-faced yet discernibly strong, Green, from her office in Leesburg, readily addressed the patches of racial tension endured in her Northern Virginia, millennial upbringing.

The slender former cheerleader grew up in Purcellville, where she was “maybe one of five” African-Americans in her early school years.

“It was maybe a little more diverse at [Loudoun Valley High School], but not much,” she says.

The demographic played a role in Green’s growth.

“It has made me more open to so many different situations,” she says. “I walk into a room, and I don’t really see color. None of that matters to me.”

There were childhood struggles, of course. Quips from classmates in middle school, snickers in restaurants when she’s out one-on-one with a white male, and far worse have been part of her life.

“Usually it’s just a lack of education,” says Green. “After I sit down with someone and ask them why they feel that way, why they think that, we both get a better understanding of each other.”

Just as Green realizes she can’t single-handedly end elderly exploitation, she knows she can’t transform everyone’s outlook on life. But that doesn’t stop her from sitting down with people to share her open-mindedness.

“At least they have a different opinion about me. They may not have a different opinion about people that are outside of their race,” she says, “but they’ve got a different opinion about me, and that’s a start.”

In December, after already working full-time for more than half a decade, Green earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Strayer University. While she reflects smilingly on her years at Middleburg, Green’s ambitions land outside the bank.

She plans to pursue a law degree, parlaying that into a career as an advocate for the elderly.

“She’s always had a great work ethic,” says Green’s mother, Deborah. “Something that’s always stood out was how quick a learner she is. Even when she was little, you’d explain something to her once and she’d understand.”

Tolerance was an attribute Green quickly picked up.

Green isn’t preaching what she doesn’t practice, says Teresa Brunetti, Green’s roommate and co-worker. Brunetti says the first attribute that stands out is how open-minded she is.

“Sometimes we just sit around and have some very engaging conversations,” Brunetti says.

Even if the two women disagree, adds Brunetti, which they sometimes do when it comes to politics, they’re able to hold civil debates.

“We always come away understanding where one another is coming from,” says Brunetti.

Green’s viewpoints—how she sees the world, what she wants do to with her given time here—would lead any loving parent to praise her.

Her father no longer has that chance.

James Wiley, Green’s dad, unexpectedly died the day before her interview for this Black History Month feature.

So the fact Green insisted the interview go on speaks to her strength—that word so often brought up in discussions with and about her. With the interview scheduled the week before her father’s death, there was, of course, an understanding if she didn’t want to go through with it.

But she did. She wanted to honor her dad.

Not surprisingly, she overachieved.


In observance of Black History Month, the Loudoun Times-Mirror will be looking at the lives and experiences of four African-American residents of varying generations. The was the second installment.

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Comments


Does she use that dog for fighting purpose like Mike Vick? I am calling the SPCA


Great story, Trevor. 

Awesome shot, Beverly.

The comments speak for themselves.


Such a great story. Alicia and I went to high school together, class of 2003. You have over come a lot, especially going to our school. Very proud of you and look forward to hearing when you get your law degree! Keep making big strides in your life!


That is a cool dog! one smooth nickle.


Encouraging to read about an individual committed to higher education and becoming better.  That’s what we are all about in Loudoun!  I love it! LTM - nice work.


Great story Loudoun Times-Mirror


What a wonderful person to interview.  Good luck to her in her present and future endeavors.  I will be looking for the other installments remaining this Black History Month.

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