Name and Title:
Webster Quoc Nguyen, Visual Arts Assistant
How long have you worked at RYSE?
I began to work with RYSE while on field study for 6 months in 2016. After I graduated UCSC I began working at RYSE officially in December of 2017 and it’s been an amazing journey!
How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?
During my time at UCSC, I switched from being an Accounting Major to a double in Community Studies and Art. The Community Studies Department has a mandatory 6 month field study program and that’s how I learned about RYSE. It was my first choice because it held both of my majors (Art and Community Studies) in high regards and emphasized on a multifaceted service. I think RYSE’s desire to be a little bit of everything to everyone really pushed me to wanting to work with the center.
As the Visual Arts Assistant, what do you do?
As the Visual Arts Assistant, I mainly focus on pop-up workshops that range from watercoloring, button making, balloon art, making pinatas… Really anything! A good deal of my work also includes collaborating with other departments in art based activities and assisting with graphic request in the center. Other than that, I am support for the Visual Arts team which includes Agana and Francisco!
What do you love most about your job?
My favorite part of the job is the merging between engaging with young people and making art. There is something profound about the act of making art with another person and the memories that go with it. I spend my days making art, laughing at jokes, and being there for the young people in this community.
If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?
Beautiful, crazy, everything!
Tell me something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month.
I had a conversation with a young person about leading with love and the difficulty of doing so in an environment that doesn’t always promote love. The act of being a light of love for yourself and the communities you serve has always been a powerful thing in my life. As someone who at times has a hard time seeing the positives when there seems to be a mass of negativity looming over, being able to connect with others really hit me.
If you could be a guest star on any TV show, what would it be and why?
Hands down, Steven Universe. I would love to hang out on the beach, get some donuts at the Big Donut, just explore the beauty of the world that Rebecca Sugar and team created! I think that show really hones in on the magical beauty of the everyday and it would be so cool to be within a world that has so much emphasis on that beauty!
What's something the other staff and youth members don't know about you?
I have a dog and I love camping! I go often, I own a tent, hammock, and in the process of acquiring a kayak!
I also have 7 siblings and when I grow up I hope to be that weird uncle that lives in the forest with his dog camping, fishing, and kayaking; the one that only shows up for christmas and wants to talk about aliens and sasquatch.
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