“Power at the Pass: The Don Shapiro Story,” by CTN peer mentor, Valentin Sandoval, tells the true story of a young New Yorker who came to El Paso and helped transform it socially and economically. Sandoval, a 43-year-old native El Pasoan, has teamed with garment industry pioneer Don Shapiro, now 93, to create new opportunities in the area.

“Val and I are doing it right now. This building is part of it,” Shapiro said during an interview at 1931 Myrtle Ave., where a massive building serves as the center of his new plans. Works from El Paso artists decorate the walls. Rooms are rented out to young entrepreneurs and artists. 

“We’re going to be hiring a lot of people,” Shapiro said. “And we have a connection in Phoenix with a moviemaking company. And all the jobs will come here. Our aim here is to build jobs and make the city better and mainly opportunities for the young people in the industry, communications.”

Shapiro offers some advice to people trying to survive the pandemic. “One thing: See whatever is around you and think positive, where I can do better …,” he said. “There’s always a way out. No matter how bad things might look. There’s a way to find yourself and find your opportunities by getting your target — and never quit.”


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