Brett Cooper10th Grade
Laurel Springs student Brett Cooper is constantly looking for ways to make the world a better place. By following her many passions to create various community service projects – all while pursuing a career in acting – she’s done just that.
Brett’s passion for community service can be traced to 2011 when she created a non-profit organization called Follow Ur Star, where she taught improv and theater to at-risk peers in her community to help build their confidence. Brett received two grants for Follow Ur Star over the course of three years, and she says it was her love of acting that originally inspired the idea.
For Brett, Follow Ur Star was just the beginning of a journey in leading projects that make a difference. Her most recent endeavor is called KEY (Knowledge Empowers Youth), and it’s a website that will provide the tools for adolescents to discover their passions, learn leadership skills, and create an organization. Brett says that she feels particularly passionate about this project and about helping fellow adolescents make a difference in their communities.
“Everyone still has the opportunity to make a difference, no matter their skill set, no matter their interests, no matter their age or gender,” she said.
The inspiration for KEY came from Brett’s attendance at the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum in New York City this past year. Brett was selected as one of 50 attendees for the forum, which had over 3,500 applicants and was comprised of young women who are “united by a common passion for advancing social change in their communities and beyond,” according to the event press release.
Brett is partnering with several fellow attendees to create the KEY website, which launched over the summer. After teaching a workshop at the ANNpower Forum, Brett said that she realized a passion for teaching others, and wants to teach her peers, who may not have access to mentor programs or leadership training, how to be effective leaders.
Another one of Brett’s passions is self-defense training, which she began three years ago. She’s currently working on creating a series of workshops to help young women learn self-defense and feel empowered.
Whether it’s her passion for the arts, leadership, or self-defense, Brett’s goal is to improve the world around her with solutions to problems she observes.
“I’m really passionate about a lot of things and I don’t look for problems in communities and in the world – I look for possible solutions to make the world a better place,” she said. “I’m constantly thinking about how I can make a difference and how I can use my skill set.”
According to Brett, being a student at Laurel Springs has played an undeniable role in allowing her to explore her many passions and pursue her various projects. The ability to make her own schedule and complete schoolwork in her own time has allowed her the time to pursue her passion for both community service and acting.
“It’s really incredible what Laurel Springs allows its students to do and the support that everyone gives us,” she explained. “It’s an incredible environment to be a part of and an incredible community because everyone is so supportive.”
At Laurel Springs, Brett enjoys taking English classes taught by her favorite teacher, taking part in the National Honor Society, Model UN, student government, yearbook committee, and prom committee, and connecting with fellow students online and in person.
Brett is looking forward to her junior year at Laurel Springs but is already looking ahead to college, where she plans to major in English Literature or a similar subject. She aspires to be a producer, director, and screenwriter for films and television and wants to use media to make a difference – just another way Brett plans to use her passions to change the world.