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Art-Based Program Helps Groom Young Males

Elton Hayes | 1/9/2013, 12:16 p.m.

While Life Pieces to Masterpieces' curriculum touches on a vast array of subjects, art remains a cornerstone of the program's mission. Under the guidance of apprentice Seneca Wells, young artists create colorful, acrylic-on-canvas collage paintings. Bright shades of blue, red, yellow and green paint are splashed across blank canvases.

The youngsters' creations have been displayed for all to see. Courage on Canvas 2012 was featured at Pepco's Edison Place Gallery in Northwest where more than 100 of the students' paintings were showcased during an exhibit.

Many of the program's former students have returned as mentors and apprentices. In addition to his journalism broadcast coursework at Bowie State, McDonald spends roughly 25-30 hours a week at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School with the Life Pieces to Masterpieces' youngsters, who like himself, have found stability and brotherhood within the program.

"I've seen a lot of transformations with Life Pieces," said McDonald, whose two-year-old son is now involved with the program. "I've even seen it with the mentors who have settled down and assumed responsibilities. Life Pieces taught me how to raise my standards and grow as a person and showed me that if I really want to succeed, I have to invest in myself first."