Our latest New Yorker of the Week has always had a love for the stage. That's why she raised the curtain on a non-profit theater company, giving back to thousands of New Yorkers over the years.
Janine Trevens grew up on the stage but never wanted to be in the spotlight.
"I would say I resisted theatre growing up. I mean I still don't really like people looking at me, although I don't want to be invisible either but as a kid I wanted to be invisible," Trevens said.
Theatre was in her blood - Trevens' mom and sister were actors.
But Trevens says her true passion was teaching.
She found a way to combine both.
"What I didn't know I would get out of theatre when I was younger, I now see," Trevens said.
And that was the opportunity to give young people from all walks of life a chance to take the stage.
In 1984, she founded TADA! -- a non-profit youth theatre company.
Trevens writes and produces original musicals with a message.
She tackles issues like social inequality, bullying, and low self-esteem.
"I give the kids who are at TADA! a place to be themselves and accepted for who they are and be with like-minded people and learn that they can make a difference -- that they have an impact and that they are worthy," Trevens said.
Thousands of aspiring actors have gone through the free program in the last 35 years.
Stars like Kerry Washington and Jordan Peele once graced Trevens' stage.
For many in the kids in the program, TADA! means so much more than just getting on stage.
"It gave me a lot of confidence. Especially with the people here. They give me confidence because they're very supportive," said Cosmo Bayes, a TADA! actor.
"This is really just a safe place for people to come and be who they are and nobody is going to judge you -- like 'oh you're this, or you're that.' No, it's who you are," said Evie Lee, a TADA! actress.
And that could be any role they could imagine.
"It's for them, it's not about the adult ego, it's really just for them. And that's what I've always wanted to do -- make growing up easier, make living easier, make people happy," Trevens said.
And so for giving young stars a place to shine, Janine Trevens is our New Yorker of the Week.