One of the most bittersweet moments of the New Victory Season is when we bid a fond farewell to the graduating third-years of the New Victory Usher Corps. This program is more than professional development. It's a family. Here at The New 42nd Street, we take pride in our graduates' achievements, whether it's greeting New Vic audiences or growing life-skills at educational workshops.
The 2016-17 Ushers
The New Victory Usher Corp, created to address the urgent need for youth employment in New York City, offers paid employment, job training, academic support and mentorship for 50 young New Yorkers each year. (They also throw excellent, annual holiday parties too!) Every usher has a different experience, and we work with each of them to ensure that they are both nurtured and challenged during their time with us.
Richard Lascelles first came to the Usher Corps as a soft-spoken high schooler, but by his second year he was ready to lead. During Fly
, a play about the Tuskeegee Airmen, Richard volunteered to chaperone one of the three Airmen who attended the show and Talk-Back. Even after his graduation ceremony, he looks back on this opportunity fondly, as it helped him come into his own as a professional and leader.
A career panel for the New Victory Usher Corps with Mario Batali, Sade Williams and James Fuentes
Richard says "The Usher Corps opened my eyes to what I want to do in the near future … I thank the Usher Corps for pushing me to my full potential, and reminding me what I am good at."
Brendon Muniz, a third-year graduate of the Usher Corps program who starts at NYU in the fall, agrees, "The Usher Corps allowed me to grow as a person and show me the importance of making new connections and making sure you show your best self to others. Not only did I have a job, but I also had mentors teach me how to interview, how to get another job, and how to do better in school."
In the past three years, we were lucky to call these graduates both coworkers and friends—Rachel Pang (Brooklyn College), Brendan Muniz (New York University), Cynthia Arce (John Jay College), Aniyah Carr, Donovan Molina (Hostos College), Dylan Christou (St Joseph's College), Richard Lascelles (Monroe College), Jaixa Lopez (Borough of Manhattan Community College), Nelson Malone (Kingsborough Community College), John DeLoatch (LaGuardia Community College) and Stephanie Cuevas (New York City College of Technology). We hope they look back with warm hearts, remembering the professional workshops, birthday parties and job training seminars. They'll always have a home here at The New Victory Theater, and we're thrilled to see what they accomplish in the future.