YIT Spotlight: The Power and Passion of Making People Laugh

By Katherine O’Day, Youth In Transition Program Coordinator

Tyresse at the Spectrum Drop-In Center in downtown St. Albans

ST. ALBANS — Tyresse Cooper is a 19-year-old Bellows Free Academy graduate and current St. Albans resident who has a passion for the performing arts. While he has been interested in acting since his freshman year, he only started acting his senior year of high school. Being engaged in drama class introduced Tyresse to a popular after-school improv group held every Thursday.

Knowing that he had a passion for improv, the St. Albans Youth in Transition program, “Youth For Change,” approached Tyresse to facilitate an improv group at the new(ish) Spectrum Drop-In Center in downtown St. Albans. Tyresse happily accepted the challenge. He used some ideas he learned from the after-school improv group and from his favorite YouTube improv troupe “Smosh” to successfully facilitate his first improv learning session. All of the youth who showed up participated, including two youth who were completely new to the space, the program, and to improv!

“If you can make someone laugh, it’s easier to get them to participate.”

“Being able to act out and express yourself and make other people laugh is something I think other people my age would be interested in doing: If you can make someone laugh, it’s easier to get them to participate,” Tyresse said.

While Tyresse is considering a future in acting, he is taking his time to really put some thought into it. He’s going to start by looking into acting opportunities near his hometown and around the state. His advice for young people who are interested in acting, is to “do it as soon as possible — don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.”

For more information about the Youth in Transition program in St. Albans, contact Heather at: Heather.Getty@ncssinc.org.

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