New York City’s high schoolers have so much on their plate: school, social lives, college applications, and AP/SAT tests, to name a few. Luckily for the New Victory Theater, some high school teens apply to join the New Victory Usher Corps every year!

New 42 launched the New Victory Usher Corps back in 1995 to annually provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000+ hours of paid employment to over 660 teens from across the city. Find out how young people can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

Before we end the 2022-23 season, we’re featuring a member of the New Victory Usher Corps on New Victory Stories. Michael Allen Bailey, New 42’s Media and Communications Associate, interviewed high school student and New Victory Usher Corps member Sarah Vargas about her experience ushering at the New Victory and what she is looking forward to after graduation.



Michael Allen Bailey: Why did you apply to be a part of the New Victory Usher Corps? 

Sarah Vargas: When I heard from my peers about the New Victory Usher Corps program, I knew I had to apply. To be a member of a community where everyone feels at home while earning income, work experience and school support is something I couldn’t turn down. 

MAB: How significant was it for you to have practical work experience while you were in school?

SV: Honestly, I find it extremely significant that I got the opportunity to gain work experience as a high school student. It puts me at ease knowing that when I graduate I’ll have some work experience for future employers.

MAB: Are you considering a career that you didn’t think was accessible to you since you joined the New Victory Usher Corps? If so, what is it?

SV: Although I’m not considering a career that I didn’t think was accessible to me before joining the New Victory Usher Corps, I have opened myself towards achieving new things I didn’t think I could in school. For example, starting my own club after school and applying for student council. Before joining the New Victory Usher Corps I closed myself off to those ideas, but now I’ve beg[u]n putting myself more out there. 

MAB: What was your favorite show to be an usher for and why?

SV: Two of my personal favorites were Cookin’ and Zephyr. Both shows created an amazing ambience within the theater. It made coming to work so much fun.

MAB: Can you describe your professional development while in this program? Who helped you develop and hone the skills you currently have now? 

SV: Ever since I joined the New Victory Usher Corps, I’ve noticed a lot of growth in my professional self. Particularly in problem-solving; watching my peers overcome obstacles and receiving feedback from my peers on how I could’ve handled an issue more effectively has helped me grow my professional self.

MAB: What would you say to someone that is considering joining the New Victory Usher Corps but is hesitant to apply? 

SV: I know you’re a bit skeptical of applying. But one of the best decisions I’ve made this year was applying for the New Victory Usher Corps program. The support that I receive here is incredible and I have built some great friendships with my peers. I’m glad I applied when I did. So I’d say go for it!

MAB: What are you looking forward to after the New Victory Usher Corps graduation? 

SV: One thing that I’m looking forward to after the New Victory Usher Corps graduation is using the knowledge and experience I have developed within the program in future programs, careers, and even life situations that I may come across.

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