ASPIRE Creative Arts Program


About Us Steven Cars Artwork
Artwork by Steven

 

ASPIRE Creative Arts Program was founded on the belief that individuals with intellectual disabilities hold an incredible amount of untapped potential, and can rise to high levels of social, intellectual, and artistic success with proper guidance and support.  With more than 45 years of combined experience serving adults with intellectual disabilities, Janice Reyes and Kim Kosaki have created a day program that embodies their respect and devotion to this population.

As a parent of an adult with Williams syndrome, it has been Janice Reyes’ lifelong mission to provide a meaningful and loving place for adults with intellectual disabilities to excel and reach their maximum potential.  She has served on various Boards of Directors for more than 25 years, and as the Executive Director of a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities for more than 20 years.  She has also been the founder and owner of two travel agencies, and is a skilled business woman with two decades of experience in the private sector.  The combination of her nurturing heart and business acumen has helped her make ASPIRE into a success, where as co-director she continues her deep-rooted mission to advocate for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Co-director Kim Kosaki’s background also contains a blend of practical and therapeutic skills.   Kim holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from U.C. Irvine, and an M.A. in Dance/Movement Therapy from UCLA.  Early in her career, she worked with children with learning disabilities and severe developmental delays.  However, she found true satisfaction when she became a dance instructor for adults with intellectual disabilities, immediately gaining a deep appreciation for their courage, determination, and pure hearts.  She was promoted to Program Director and served for 12 years, specializing in working with students with Autism, Down syndrome, and Williams syndrome.  In total, she has worked closely with adults with intellectual disabilities for more than 17 years, and finds herself continually inspired by them.

Prior to creating ASPIRE, Kim and Jan had the idea of starting their own day program and when family members of adults with intellectual disabilities began asking them to do so for their loved-ones, Kim and Jan saw the true need for a program that was not centered around the program itself but around the students that are served by the program.  Kim was touched that so many family members gave their trust and support for creating a new program, and ASPIRE Creative Arts Program was born.

Today ASPIRE has become an intimate, family-like environment where everyone is genuinely and equally valued.  The staff possesses a deep respect and appreciation for each student, allowing artistic development, creativity, and personal growth to unfold naturally within each individual. Unlocking this hidden potential is how ASPIRE defines success.


Board of Directors

 

All our board members are dedicated, lifelong advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

 

President:
Janice Reyes
Co-Founder & Co-Director of ASPIRE Creative Arts Program
Over 20 years experience as an Executive Director for a non-profit organization serving adults with intellectual disabilities
Over 20 years experience as the business owner & President of R&R Travel and Mexico Travel Experts

 

Secretary:
Christa Leeb-Peters
M.A. Special Education and teaching credentials, CSULA
B.A. Psychology, Westmont College
Retired Special Education Teacher, Trabuco Hills High School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District

 

Treasurer:
Kim Kosaki
M.A. Dance/Movement Therapy, UCLA
B.S. Applied Mathematics with a minor in Dance, UCI
Co-Founder & Co-Director of ASPIRE Creative Arts Program
Over 10 years experience as a Program Director for a non-profit organization serving adults with intellectual disabilities

 

Member:
Lionel D’Luna
Ph.D. Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Purdue University
Retired Senior Director, Broadcom Corporation

 

Member:
Jodi Howard
M.A. Curriculum and Development, CSULB
B.A. Liberal Studies Elementary Education, CSULB
Retired Teacher, Portola Hills Elementary School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District