Founder & Executive Director
Madin Ray Lopez (They/Them) is the founder of ProjectQ. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Madin began doing hair in
high school. They knew very early on that they wanted to do hair for a living because it was a reliable career
that also allowed them to use their creativity. Having experienced much trauma as a child, Madin made it their
life’s mission to help LGBTQIA+ youth. They founded ProjectQ in 2012 after realizing this mission and
have since devoted their free time to making this dream become a reality. Madin purchased a vintage
airstream trailer and created the mobile self-esteem building hair salon
'The Hairsteam.' And in June 2018 Madin opened The ProjectQ Salon & Community Center. Madin hopes to
prove to the youth and to themselves, that tenacity speaks louder than circumstances.
Andre Vargas (He/Him) began his journey with ProjectQ in 2016 as a youth experiencing homelessness. He received his first haircut from Madin while interning at the LA LGBTQ Center. He started his ProjectQ career as a volunteer, then was hired as a receptionist, and soon after promoted to Program Assistant.
Jessica-Jean de la Vega
Jessica-Jean (she/they) is a QTPOC who Identifies as Non-Binary femme of center. Jessica-Jean has a background as a freelance hair and makeup artist, Queer Educator, Artist, Social Media Specialist and Program Assistant for ProjectQ Salon and Expanding Identities Development.
You can find her on instagram @mxjessicajean
Em Jackson (They/Them) is the Director of Financial Security Initiatives at the Non-Profit FreeFrom, that works with and on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence to create pathways to economic security and long-term safety. Em began volunteering as a Membership Coordinator for ProjectQ in May 2019 and transitioned to a staff member in the same role in June 2020. They received their Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and Master’s degree in Gerontology from Eastern Illinois University. Upon graduation, they were given the opportunity to work from the ground up within Chicago’s first LGBTQIA+ Affordable Senior Housing Complex, Town Hall Apartments. After relocating to California nearly 5 years ago, their focus has continued to revolve around purpose driven work. Em’s journey has taken them from working with folks in the LGBTQIA+ community to working with youth, adults and families in personal and professional development, education, mental health, and affordable housing. This included working at the San Diego LGBT Community Center as the Family Program Coordinator & Services Navigator for two years where they co-led the Center’s first Non-Binary Discussion Group.
Board of Directors
Zekiah N Wright
Vero Lebron (She/Her)
has been volunteering with
ProjectQ since August 2019.