Third-Year Usher Spotlight: Samantha McKinney

We launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened in 1995 to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 660 NYC teens from across the city. Find out how young people ages 16-21 can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we’ll be featuring young people from the Usher Corps in our show programs and here on New Victory Stories. Today, we’re talking to third-year Usher Samantha McKinney from Morrisania, the Bronx.

What has been your favorite show at the New Victory?

My favorite show at the New Victory was Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams. During the show, the energy popped right off the stage and I was in awe of the beauty and power of the performers.

The show I’m most excited for this season is…

Magic Shadows! Everything I’ve seen of it shows how incredible these artists are at telling stories in an inventive way.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job is to be a social worker because people who are ignored need their voices to be heard by a strong advocate, as I would be. The role of a social worker is changing and I want to apply my skills to these new social challenges our world faces.

Who inspires you and why?

My Nana inspires me. She was a strong independent woman who didn’t have much, but she created her own business by selling clothing and jewelry. She taught me and my sister about money management and how to work with people. She enjoyed what she did, and she inspired me to strive to have more for myself and my family.

What is your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is art because of the different activities we get to do and the different types of art we get to create. It opens my horizons!

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

My favorite thing to do when I’m not at work is to cook, spend time with my family, draw, hang out with friends and binge-watch Netflix.

What’s your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is special to me because this area is the spot where I can thrift shop, which is so a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

Describe your dream vacation.

My dream vacation is anywhere on the beach. The thought of laying in the sun with a refreshing drink while staring at the ocean relaxes me.