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Cool Kid teaches kids confidence, self-expression through theater

This week's Cool Kid volunteers at the Metropolitan Educational Theater Network, where she works with children of all ages.
December 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The world is a stage for this week's Cool Kid. Tessa Southwell is using her love for theater to reach some of the younger kids in her community.

She volunteers at the Metropolitan Educational Theater Network, where she works with children of all ages and enables children to have fun and be creative, all while promoting confidence and social skills.

"They're so into being on stage and they just love what they're doing. I love sharing my love for theater with others; it's really a great experience," said Tessa.

You can't tell by seeing her now, but Tessa was extremely shy when she first began performing in third grade. Now, she sees some of her performers making the very same transformation.

"I love seeing the kids at the first rehearsal and them being a little timid like 'oh, what is this?' But then by the last rehearsal or by tech week of the shows, they've built confidence," said Tessa.

It takes more than just talent to lead her actors. But it seems that Tessa has that something extra.

"She's ready with such great energy and a smile for the kids and she's got such a positive presence with them," said Alison Bretches, Artistic Director at Metropolitan Educational Theater Network.

Tessa loves that she is teaching these kids much more than just songs and dance steps.

"It gives you more confidence outside of the theater. You can go out into the world and feel more confident about yourself because you learned all these things that can help you," said Tessa.

Singing, dancing and lessons for life, Tessa brings it all to the stage for her kids.


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