Honorary Shaper of the Week: Sam Pressler

Tomorrow, we co-host an event with the Town Point Club to benefit a worthy organization: Armed Service Arts Partnership, a nonprofit that encourages art expression to engage veterans in the community.

Sam Pressler founded ASAP while he was still an undergrad and it is prospering today!

Sam has qualities that we value at Global Shapers Norfolk: Focus, Determination, Passion and Compassion. He strives to make a difference and, for that, we recognize him as an Honorary Shaper this week! Keep reading to learn more about Sam and ASAP.

Name: Sam Pressler

Age: 24

Hometown: Wayne, NJ

Alma Mater: College of William & Mary, '15

GS: What is the number one inspiration that drove you to begin ASAP and work to keep it growing?

SP: There is a quote from legendary comedian, Bob Hope that goes, "I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful."

When I was in high school, we lost a close family member to suicide. My family and I used comedy, laughter, and humor to cope, overcome, and even grow following the trauma. Through my research in college, I learned about some of the challenges that veterans and their families face upon leaving the military. I understood first-hand what comedy could do - not only for mental health, but also for building connections and community - and decided to start the first stand-up comedy class for veterans and their families. 

GS: What is your biggest win to date? What are you most proud of?

SP: In October, eight of ASAP's Comedy Bootcamp alumni delivered the first ever Veterans Comedy Show at The White House. Part of our mission is to empower our veterans and their families with a platform for their stories to be heard. On that day, they were given one of the world's biggest platforms. Check out the highlights here!

GS: What is your vision for ASAP's future?

SP: To ensure that every veteran and military family member across the United States can come home, find a voice, and thrive through the arts. If you want to learn more about ASAP and their mission, click here!

GS: Bonus Question! You have a rare day off, you want to relax, so you pull out the best movie of all time - what is it?

SP: Anchorman, of course.