"In my play, there is a male who is a boxer and a female who is a dancer and they are trying to cope with each other and trying to go to prom. I did boxing and I did dancing, so I tried to separate myself into those two different characters," explains Edwin Martinez.
A year after he was in the In-School Playwriting Program at Bell Multicultural High School, a friend of Edwin’s invited him to join YPT’s after-school Young Playwrights’ Workshop.
"Everyone in the program works well together because we all accept other’s differences," Edwin says of the Workshop. "We may not all have the same opinions on certain subjects, but the key ingredient that holds us all together is respect."
Last spring, Edwin and his fellow Workshop students created an original play called Out of the Shadow, which explores bullying from a youth perspective. "The play portrays different kinds of bullying, but it all has to do with being different. We touched on the suicides, the emotional pain, the pain that surrounds others, and how people who are bullied can help each other."
This year, Edwin is attending Montgomery College and volunteering with the educational nonprofit Higher Achievement as a mentor. Edwin says that witnessing the joy YPT teaching artists experience while working with students inspired him to give back to his community. He says, "I want to help minors or people younger than I am to choose a better path."
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