Daequan Andino, graduate of the Builders of the New World program
This is where I learned the steps I needed to take to reach my dream. The Actors Theatre Workshop is where everything started for me.
I stayed in school, studied hard and became a fashion designer. Last year I started a program at a high school in Harlem for students who want to work in the fashion industry. I teach them about design, creativity and to serve the community. I’m about to celebrate my 21st birthday with a big fashion show of my new designs – – and I had to come here to ATW to see you because I want my celebration to be here! This is where I learned to develop my imagination. This is where I learned the steps I needed to take to reach my dream. The Actors Theatre Workshop is where everything started for me.
Daequan Andino, Fashion Designer, 21 years old
Daequan was a student at ATW for three years, from age 10 – 13
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Sulma Arzu, graduate of ATW’s Young People’s Creative Workshop
In my culture females aren’t really allowed to express themselves. When I came to The Actors Theatre Workshop you totally broke that. You told me there was more to me than just a shy little girl. That helped me through all my interviews, through school and through the jobs that I’m holding now. It’s because of the Actor’s Theatre Workshop and people like you, leaders like you who’ve helped mold me and helped me to become the person that I am, and the person that I planned to be in the future.
Sulma Arzu, Radio Professional, 21
Sulma was a student at ATW for four years, from age 11 – 14
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Geoffrey Garcy, graduate of ATW’s Young People’s Creative Workshop
We had some place where somebody was actually listening to us and giving feedback to what we were writing about. It gave it importance and let us validate ourselves. It gave me confidence in my own ideas.
Geoffrey Garcy, Musician, 22 years old
Geoffrey was a student at ATW for three years, from age 11 – 13
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Bobby Garcy, graduate of ATW’s Young People’s Creative Workshop
When I first came to ATW I was a shy, quiet little kid who always kept to myself. If I didn’t learn how to use my imagination and understand that it was ok, I wouldn’t have had confidence in myself to choose my profession, to stick with it and go through with it.
Bobby Garcy, Pharmacist, 20 years old
Bobby was a student at ATW for three years, from age 9 – 11
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Lynda Turpin, parent writing to us from Canada grateful for her daughter’s experience
I would like to thank you for taking the time to meet with and provide a workshop to the O’Leary drama students from Edmonton. From all my daughter Kyra-lyn told me, it the drama workshop was amazing for her, and in her words “life changing”. I expect that this experience will stay with her and will continue to have an impact on some of the choices she makes going forth with her education and her life. Again, thank you very much for providing such an uplifting experience.
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg recognizes Artistic Director Thurman E. Scott and the entire staff of The Builders of the New World Program
You have been a tremendous source of support for the youngest and most vulnerable New Yorkers, and your outstanding program gives students a wonderful opportunity to express themselves artistically and acquire the tools they will need to lead successful lives.
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Susan Haskell, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Youth and Community Development attends the February graduation of the Builders of the New World
I enjoyed it so much and I can see that the environment here at this theatre has all the principles that are really important to us at the Department of Youth and Community Development, like caring adults and very high expectations…
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We awarded Congressman Charles B. Rangel the First Annual Builder of the New World Award in recognition of his hands-on work and success in bringing the community together in a vision of harmony and hope for the future. After watching children in the Builders program present their stories, Congressman Rangel proclaimed
My political and social consciousness is always recharged when I see lovely kids … being exposed to all the things God would want them to have. Thank you, Mr. Scott. I believe that your vision is inspiring and your talent and creativity are boundless.
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Jeff Hicks, 2016 Children’s Program Volunteer and AIG professional
I remember the audience response to Khalik’s stellar presentation. I was so proud of him in that moment. And what a wonderful, rewarding experience for me to participate and witness the great work The Actors Theatre Workshop is doing with these kids. This program is a terrific blending of all the personal attributes needed to succeed: imagination, creativity, discipline, communication, presentation, vocalization and more. Good luck with the Indiegogo campaign!
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Daniel Purcell, Grade 11 student from Canada writing to us about how working with Mr Scott changed his life
I want to strive to be a leader in the Drama program at our school and help to mentor the younger schools. I’ve experienced a very rapid process of maturity since coming to ATW. This has led to many changes in my life that have drastically changed the future for me in a positive manner. Following the ideas and vision you preached I’ve started to enjoy the smaller things in life. I know there are still areas I can improve in and I must identify them and look at the little things I can do to change so I can continue to develop on the path and into the person I am destined to be.
My name is Daniel Purcell and I had the pleasure of working with you in late March. Since then, I’ve been getting along better with my siblings and see life in a new way. On a deeper level, I’ve made some personal changes because of the time we shared together.
Following the ideas and vision you preached I’ve started to enjoy the smaller things in life. I also changed my priorities from activities that didn’t benefit or enrich me. I used to play many video games in my free time but now I’ve found activities that have a positive impact on me like reading and other outdoor daily activities. I’ve also discovered more ways I can contribute to my school and community. This I know for certain I want to strive to be a leader in the Drama program at our school and help to mentor the younger schools. I have many things to discover in this aspect but I’m sure this will come to me over the next school year.
To close, I’ve just experienced a very rapid process of maturity since coming to ATW. This has led to many changes in my life that have drastically changed the future for me in a positive manner. I know there are still areas I can improve in and I must identify them and look at the little things I can do to change so I can continue to develop on the path and into the person I am destined to be. Thank you again for all of your teachings and inspiration that you brought forth that memorable day in March.
Grade 11 Student Archbishop O’Leary High School
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Taniyah Pratt, age 10 dreams of designing her own fashion line…
I think when you draw, you should do it from your heart. I draw from what I see and feel to express my feelings. I want people to believe in my creation and imagination. I want people to respect my art and enjoy wearing my clothes anywhere they want.
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Zaire Jones, age 11, envisions a future as a teacher and agent for positive change…
The way I’m going to accomplish my goal is to get a Diverse Education. I will study global warming. I will study science, chemicals, elements and dense matter. I will also study people from history who have worked for peace, like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Thurman, and Nelson Mandela.
I will help teach others that we can change our lives and make the world happy instead of fighting. Together, we can impact and change the world.
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Ja-Red Leacraft, age 11, envisions a diverse future as an FBI agent, wrestler and rapper…
I want to be a role model to inspire other people. As an FBI agent, I will be kind and supportive, and I will serve our country. I want to help the elderly and protect the weak.
Being a wrestler will help me develop confidence, bravery and courage, which are important for me to follow my other dreams. If I am a wrestler, people do not have to be afraid of anything because I will protect them.
As a rapper, I will communicate with the world, to inspire people by my songs. I will inspire little children to achieve their dreams, as long as they put their minds to it. They should never give up their dreams. In addition, I want to inspire kids about helping the homeless by giving them food and money, helping them raise a charity and become a volunteer.
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Shamel King, age 9 dreams of a future of healing through food and laughter…
I will help sick people with special medicines that I will put in my food and desserts. I will have comedy shows to make people laugh because I believe laughter is healthy for the soul. I will have a pool with my medicines that absorb into their bodies.