Adriana Arzeta Art teacher in the After School Program
Adriana Arzeta has been with the After School Sports and Arts Initiative (ASSAI) for two years. Before the ASSAI, she went to school in Mexico City and worked most of her years there as a kindergarten teacher. When she moved to Canada, she worked as a community rehabilitation worker for many years and was an artist for Paint Nite. Her aspiration is to do what she loves and to transmit her passion and love for art to everyone she connects with. In Adriana’s free time she likes to meditate, do yoga, and dance. Adriana enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her kids. To Adriana, the after-school program is a place to create space for connection and expression, a space to teach and to learn from students. Adriana believes that everyone has an inner artist and that we are all capable of sharing important parts of our lives through art. “I love my time spent with the kids, especially when they open up and share their gifts and talents with others.” Over the course of a program, it is seeing firsthand the students' increase in confidence that is most special to Adriana. If she had one piece of advice to give to students it would be to always be loving and compassionate to oneself and others, to see life as a blank canvas to fill it up with amazing experiences and beautiful people!
Taylor Watts Movement facilitator in the After School Program
Taylor Watts has been working in SD73's after-school program for almost 5 years now. She is in her fifth year of university, finishing up her degree in French language and communication and a diploma in translation from the University of Québec in Trois-Rivières. Her dream is to become a French immersion teacher at the secondary level and to have the opportunity to share her knowledge and love of the French language and culture with others. In her free time, you can find her mountain biking, hiking, paddling and skiing.
For Taylor, the ASSAI is a place to make meaningful connections and to ensure that every student feels connected to a safe and caring adult. Taylor strives to create a safe and caring space where students get to interact with their peers and try out new sports and movement activities. Seeing students explore their creativity and develop their fundamental movement skills is the result of her efforts.
If Taylor had to give one piece of advice for young students, it would be to try and be open to trying new things, even if it scares you because maybe it will end up being your favourite activity.
Keenen Degen Soccer instructor in the After School Program
Keenen Degen is a former TRU Wolfpack athlete and our amazing soccer instructor at the ASSAI. She is in her final year of her Bachelor of Science degree, with the hope of pursuing her Bachelor of Education next. Keenen spends her free time outside hiking, swimming, and playing soccer.When she isn’t outside, she enjoys working out at the gym or watching movies. For Keenen, the after-school program is an opportunity to interact and connect with students from all around Kamloops. It allows her to share her passion and knowledge of soccer and physical literacy. Her favourite thing about the ASSAI is seeing the students step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to try new things, "I love when they are red in the face from giving it their all. I love seeing that level of engagement". As a former TRU Wolfpack athlete, Keenen’s one piece of advice for students is to go all in and commit to learning a new skill, even if this means failing at times.