Variety of New York

When Edwin Almonte first steps foot into the room, you can just feel the warmth of an old soul radiating off of him. He is confident and comfortable with an honest smile.He joined The Door, one of Variety New York’s grantees, after hearing about it from his friend in September of 2015, but he never imagined that he would be entering a whole new world. Born in the Dominican Republic, Edwin moved to the United States at the age of 9. Leaving his mother behind, he says was one of the hardest things he had ever done. The move was earth shattering, from the new culture to the language.

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When asked why he came to The Door, he simply states, “I wanted to find a good use of time”. He wanted to better himself. To do things that he wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. His face lights up when talking about his experiences at The Door. He explains, “I knew it would be a great place if I stayed focused.” Of The Door, he says, “Being here, there are things that I didn’t know I could do, like painting.” Exposure to the arts has given Edwin new perspectives on life. After a contemplative pause he says, “Sometimes, life roughs you up, but I’m very proud of the choices I’ve made. My love for art and music came with all of the dysfunction in my life and it helped me through it.”

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