Art Buddy Spotlight: Reginaldo Reyes, Mentor

Reginaldo (Reggie) Reyes is Vice President of Brand Experience at KNOCK Inc., and has been an Art Buddy for two semesters. In addition to volunteering as a creative mentor, he is always on the lookout for art materials and supply donations that kids and mentors can use to create unique and imaginative costumes during each semester of Art Buddies.

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How would you describe Art Buddies to someone who has never heard of the program?

It's an amazing opportunity for a creative professional to put their skills and vision to use to help unleash students' minds.

What has been your most memorable experience as an Art Buddy?

When my first buddy shared with me his vision for his costume, I was amazed how he articulated a fire king and his inspirations of a phoenix.

Why did you decide to become active with Art Buddies?

I wanted some balance in my career and had an opportunity and the time to be active with the program. I'm so happy that I did, as the program gives me joy just to see how these kids' minds work.

What advice would you give to rookie Art Buddies?

Be open. Let loose. Go with the flow. Don't seek perfection.

Define what one-on-one mentoring means to you and how it can impact the lives of children.

Mentoring provides opportunities to share your life and experiences with a mentee, and help them see the world in a different light.

How do you feel the after-school combination of creativity and mentoring helps children with school work?

I think it frees up their minds to try things differently as they approach problems and situations. It also gives them something to look forward to after school.

Tell us about a unique or interesting experience with your Art Buddy that inspired you.

The simplest vision can lead to incredible thinking and stories. My Art Buddy's costume this year is a penguin, and it was chosen not for being cute, but being a leader of the pack, and focuses on family. Who knew what could come from penguin beginnings?

While you were sharing knowledge with your Art Buddy, did you ever find they were teaching you something equally important? If so, what?

Yes. Being resourceful with the things that you have.

Have you gained new friendships or expanded your network with adult Art Buddies during the program?

Yes. I've connected with people that I've known or worked with as well as new people that I look forward to catching up with.

What are some of your favorite costume creations, and what inspired your Art Buddy to choose that costume?

I've only participated in one full session, so I would have to say that was one cool costume that my Art Buddy created. My favorite piece was the staff that we created out of gift-wrapping tubes that we made look like a fire staff as part of his Fire King outfit. His emblem was the phoenix that we created as part of his breastplate.

Art Buddies accepts mentor applications every fall and spring. Learn how you can volunteer with Art Buddies at