Undergraduate Zachary Lee Gives Children Medicine No Doctor Can Provide: Laughter

Zachary Lee, a junior in Steinhardt’s music business program, is the founder of First Aid Comedy Brigade, a student-run organization that provides free comedy shows to children in hospitals around the country. “I realized that there are thousands of collegiate comedy improvisation troupes across the country, all compiled of students eager to get a laugh at any cost,” Lee said.

Lee’s First Aid Comedy Brigade connects college comedy troupes with local children’s hospitals. He was awarded the NYU Reynolds & Youth Venture’s $10,000 Be A Changemaker Challenge, Best Overall Venture award grant to start the organization. A year in the running, Lee’s Brigade has established chapters at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, George Washington University, Yale University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Michigan.

Dangerbox, NYU’s student improv troupe, has performed in the oncology ward of the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. “The First Aid Comedy Brigade brings laughter into the hearts and lives of children while cultivating a culture of volunteering among college students,” Lee says.

Photo: NYU’s Dangerbox comedy troupe after a performance at Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital in New York.