While on my Campus Crusade for Christ Summer Project in Lake Tahoe, CA, I met a wonderful friend. This girl was my match! Full of life, abundance, joy, laughter, truth, grace, the Word, and a healthy dose of silliness. I love this girl! For the past nine years we have had no contact, not sure why…we were Best Friends on the project back in 2000…she lived in California and I have been in the midwest, but for some reason we were never able to connect. I have missed her terribly.
Today I just found out that she passed away this summer due to a blood clot. When I read the news on my facebook page I was SHOCKED. Really, I couldn’t believe she was really gone…with the Lord. It doesn’t feel real as I type this either. I always pictured us reconnecting when I go to California and doing a dance ministry together. This girl loved to dance and had grwon up in the studio like me. We had so much in common. Christ is the MOST important thing we share.
As I was praying and considering the shortness of life and the preciousness of my dear friend Cindy, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart,
“I have given you her mantle, YOU will carry out some of her assignments. IF you obey.”
If I were wearing shoes, they would be off.
My face is to the floor, I am on my knees praising God for His redemption. Even when life is snatched away prematurely, He REDEEMS. I have nothing, HE gives me ALL things, even the oxygen I breathe!
After that encounter with the Lord, I decide it is time to read the tribute that my other friend sent…I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT I WAS READING! Sinice the summer the Lord had been prompting my heart to pray about teaching at the Cairo (IL) high school (math). The teacher I had been volutneering with for three years is retiring and they need a Junior High Math Teacher….which is EXACTALLY what my degree is in. Funny how God puts the pieces of life together for us…even when we are a bit resistant. For this story read a previous blog…Also, I will coach a dance team and have an after school math club for those who are struggling. My heart is to build these students up and mobilize them…not just academically, but in ALL areas. As you read about Cindy’s life, you will see MANY parallels to mine. I am blessed, honored, and humbled by this amazing woman and even more the God who created her.
I praise JESUS that she is with Him in GLORY right now, but I mourn the loss of her here on Earth. I look forward to the long conversations we will have in the Kingdom. I pray that I will be obedient to my calling and what the Lord would like me to do on this Earth…I am laying down my WILL and picking up HIS.
Warren High School mourns Cindy Vega
ASB advisor died Sunday of a suspected blood clot. She was 29.
By Brooke Karli, Staff Writer
DOWNEY —Warren High School’s campus overflowed with students, faculty, counselors, and alumni Monday as the school came together to remember and honor Cindy Vega, Warren’s ASB adv
isor who passed away Sunday at the age of 29.
The cause of death remains unclear, but doctors’ initial prognosis is that a blood clot stopped blood and oxygen from entering her brain or heart.
According to friends, Vega was short of breath and feeling dizzy and nauseous on Sunday morning when her heart stopped beating and she passed out. Her boyfriend, Andy, called 911, but paramedics were unable to resuscitate her.
Vega was born on Jan. 26, 1979 and spent the majority of her life in Downey, participating in Girl Scouts and dancing at B’s Dance Place as a child. While a student at Warren, she was involved in pep squad, ran track and field her junior and senior years, and served as ASB president and cheer captain her senior year. She graduated in 1997.
Following high school, she received her bachelor’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University and her teaching credential in fundamental math from Point Loma University.
She returned to Warren in 2003 as a full-time math teacher, also leading the pep squad from 2003 to 2005. At the beginning of the 2005-06 school year, Vega took over the reigns as ASB advisor.
“[Vega] had a huge impact on this campus,” said Warren Principal John Harris. “The activities director affects the climate and culture of this school. Everything she did affected our faculty and students.”
Vega also headed Warren’s Link Crew, a transition program that pairs incoming freshman to upperclassman; was involved in the school’s Algebra Restart program, which helps students improve their math skills; and started the Algebra Academy, a summer program for incoming freshmen.
“[Vega’s] goal for Warren was to connect students to school with academic success in mind,” Harris said. “With her, activities became an intervention as she encouraged students to get involved. Getting involved was her key to success for any student struggling academically or socially.”
Ultimately, Harris said, Vega is irreplaceable.
“In 20 years, there will be a certain part of Warren High School that is what it is because of her. She has made a lasting impact on this campus.”
One of Vega’s longtime friends, Summer Parsley, said Vega spent all her life giving to others.
“She would do anything for anybody,” said Parsley, who participated in Girl Scouts and performed at B’s Dance Place with Vega before graduating together from Warren and Point Loma. “She was 110 percent dedicated to everything she did and everyone she loved. She found pleasure in making things happen and always wanted to make others happy.”
One of Vega’s best qualities, Parsley said, was her independence.
“She was just always a hard worker. If she wanted something, she worked hard to provide it for herself.”
Parsley said Vega lived in La Mirada and although she wasn’t married, she and her boyfriend had talked about it.
“I just always knew her to be someone that wanted kids,” Parsley said. “If you knew [Vega], you knew how much she loved her niece, Bailey, and nephew, Blake. We all knew she would be a great mom someday.”
Jay Waldron, a Spanish teacher at Warren, also had fond memories.
“I remember [Vega] as a part of my track and field program and thinking, ‘This kid is destined to do great things,’” said Waldron, who coached cross country and track and field at Warren for more than 14 years. “She was Warren High School from the moment she stepped on this campus as a high school freshman.”
Waldron knew Vega not only as a student, but also as a colleague. When she headed Link Crew, she asked him to be one of the program’s seven advisors.
“I was honored when she asked me to be a part of Link,” he said. “I was a big fan of hers because very few people have impressed me in the professional setting as much as she has.
“She was the epitome of being genuine and the embodiment of being selfless.”
Belinda Lands, owner of B’s Dance Place, has known the Vega family for more than 20 years and taught Vega from the time she was 5 until her graduation from high school.
“She was the sweetest and was very determined to accomplish anything that she set her mind to,” said Lands. “When I found out that she was a teacher at Warren, I felt that she had accomplished and succeeded her goals.”
Arc of Southeast Los Angeles County honored Vega at their annual installation and awards banquet Tuesday at the Rio Hondo Event Center.
She is survived by her parents, Jorge and Juanita Vega; brothers, George and Joe Vega; sister, Elizabeth (Glen) Vega-Gomez; niece, Bailey; and nephew, Blake.
A viewing will be held Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Downey. A memorial service will take place Monday at SeaCoast Grace Church in Cypress at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to the Cindy Vega Scholarship Fund, made payable to Warren High School ASB, 8141 De Palma St., Downey, CA, 90241. Reference “Vega Scholarship Fund” on the memo line.
“Having a scholarship fund in her name is more than fitting,” said Vicky Davis, one of Vega’s closest friends. “She was all about education and valued the experience of being able to learn. So much so, she paid for the first year of junior college for some of her students that couldn’t afford it because she was passionate about them continuing in their academic journey.
“That’s just the type of person she was.”