Mary Brown

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Soul Name: Sister Sunshine

As one of Life Pieces To Masterpieces’ Co-Founders in 1996, Mary Brown has worked for decades to create meaningful change in the lives of young people and their families locally and nationally. Sister Mary is currently LPTM’s Executive Director, working with the team to advance the critical mission of using artistic expression to develop character and leadership, unlock potential, and prepare Black boys and young men to transform their lives and communities.

Mary was a member of the national faculty at Neighborworks America for 17 years, responsible for the design, facilitation and evaluation of training programs nationwide for youth development workers, community developers and organizers.

Seneca Wells

Artistic Coordinator

Soul Name: Brother Lionheart

Seneca Wells’ innate creative ability is Art!  He was born in the District of Columbia and grew up with his brothers and sister.  From age 4, Seneca had been drawing his own comic book scripts.  Seneca soon moved on to other art mediums and was inspired by Van Gogh and others of the Renaissance era. While in high school at HD Woodson Seneca’s love for art continued to blossom. He enrolled at Life Pieces To Masterpieces and became one of the lead art apprentices of trained artist Larry Quick. Seneca has been with Life Pieces since 2000.  Life Pieces to Masterpieces uses artistic expression to develop character and leadership, unlock potential, and prepare African American boys and young men to transform their lives and communities. After high school, Seneca enrolled at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, The Art Institute, and is a current Graduate of The New York Institute of Photography.

Loretta Curry

Director of Education and Programs

Soul Name: Aunt Lo

Loretta Curry has been the Director of Programs and Education at Life Pieces To Masterpieces (LPTM) since 2012. She began her journey with LPTM in August of 2005, when she built the early childhood education program at Life Pieces. She worked in Treehouse I and Treehouse II from 2005-2012. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana and a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana in Business Administration, she ensures the high quality of the programs of our Life Pieces To Masterpieces Apprentices. At Life Pieces To Masterpieces she brings over 30 years of experience in early childhood and education.

Tamba Murray

Director of Finance & Operations

Tamba Murray joined Life Pieces to Masterpieces in 2021. He serves as the head of finance, operations, human resources and support services geared to ensure the mission’s objectives are achieved. Tamba has extensive experience in strategic planning, accounting, financial management and reporting, budgeting, grant management and operations working for profit and non profit working in senior strategic management functions in international organizations in United Kingdom and in his home country Sierra Leone. He recently worked in an EBOLA clinical trial study (EBOVAC)as Finance Manager at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK). He earned a Bsc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University (UK), Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Wales, Cardiff (UK) and is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA – UK). He has a passion for accountancy and management in non profit and has attended several workshops and short courses in management, leadership, communication and related areas. He enjoys traveling, exploring and experiencing new cultures.

William Pitts

Counselor/Family Engagement Advisor

Soul Name: Brother Wisdom

William C. Pitts has been a member of the Life Pieces to Masterpieces, Inc. (LPTM) team since 2008, where he is known to all as “Elder Bill.” He started out as a consultant, providing individuals and group counseling sessions to the young African American males which LPTM serve. He became Director of Operations and Programs in 2009 and as of 2014 he became a consultant again for the group.

In 1976 William started his career with the Bureau of Rehabilitation, providing services to DC Youth involved in the Juvenile Court System. He assisted them with forming healthy relationships and interacting effectively with self and others in an effort to achieve and maintain a sense of well being and positive identity. He accepted the position of Residential Manager in 2001 with Covenant House Washington Crisis Center providing services to homeless youth. Elder Bill brings more than 30 years experience in the youth development field. He has extensive experience in providing direct services to young people, conducting program evaluation, budgeting, strategic planning, supervision of staff, training consultant and developing opportunities for youth workers.

Elder Bill has received numerous awards throughout his career including the 2023 Excellence in Mentoring Award for Lifetime Achievement from MENTOR, the nation’s unifying champion of the mentoring movement. He has also received recognition including the DC Association of Youth and Child Care Worker’s Presidential Award; Distinguished Services Award from the Inter-Association Child Care Workers and Award of Appreciation from the Bureau of Rehabilitation. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Consortium for Youth Services and held the office of president of the DC Association of Youth and Child Care Workers.

He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. He has completed numerous comprehensive seminars, workshops and classes in the field of youth development. He has been certified as an ARISE Life Skill Instructor.

Natalie Bazata

Resource Development Manager

Natalie Bazata, Resource Development Manager, is responsible for the cultivation of LPTM’s institutional partners and individual donors. She began this role in early 2023, but has been connected with LPTM since 2019 when she served as a DC Reads site coordinator at Life Pieces through Georgetown University. She has worked extensively with youth and families in DC Public and Public Charter Schools in Wards 2, 6, 7, and 8 as a literacy tutor and program coordinator, Italian tutor, and elementary summer educator. Natalie holds a Masters of Science in Applied Linguistics and Bachelors of Arts in Linguistics and in Italian from Georgetown University. Her research experience includes program evaluation, language ideologies of multilingual youth, and the development of reading comprehension in a second language. She is passionate about fostering connections with youth, families, and community members to ensure equitable, community-centered access to resources for youth.

Herbert Benjamin

Logistics Manager

Soul Name: Brother Reliable

Herbert Benjamin has been a member of the LPTM family since 1999, not as a staff member but as a father. Mr. B’s son began at LPTM at the age of 8, and stayed until he graduated high school and went to college. Mr. B began volunteering at LPTM in 2006, and officially joined the team in 2009, because he saw the love and community that was given to his son, and wanted to be a part of that community for other boys and young men as well. Mr. B is our Grounds and Facilities Manager, supervising the front line team and ensuring all supplies and equipment are safe, sanitized, and ready for our boys and young men. Each day, Brother Reliable picks up Apprentices from school, drops them off at their homes, repairs equipment, manages maintenance, and practices art with LPTM Apprentices.

Andrew Blickle

Institutional Marketing Manager

Soul Name: Brother Tenacious Advocate

Andrew Blickle is an AmeriCorps VISTA alum from Reading, PA. He has been with the organization since completing his VISTA service with LPTM in 2017, currently serving as the Institutional Marketing Manager for Life Pieces To Masterpieces. He graduated Magna cum Laude from American University in 2016, graduating with both a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and a B.S. in Mathematics and Economics, and is currently in progress of obtaining his Master’s in Public Policy. He has coached baseball at the elementary school level, basketball at the middle school level, and soccer at a collegiate level. He also worked as a UELIP in the DC Public Schools’ Central Office, where he wrote a policy proposal that could transform the DCPS community service graduation requirement into a full service learning program.

Juan Gonzalez

Assistant Director of Programs and Education

Juan Gonzalez serves as the Programs and Education Manager for LPTM, where he manages programming, staff and curricula for LPTM’s OST and school-based programs. He also supports LPTM’s Director of Programs and Education in hiring and evaluating staff. Juan sailed with Semester at Sea Spring 2023, where he served as a Residence Director and Diversity Coordinator. He is a recent alum of the Fulbright scholar program in Argentina where he served as an English Teaching Assistant. He is also an Americorps alum who served as an NCCC Team Leader, and a Peace Corps alum who served in Samoa from 2018-2020 as an English Literacy Educator. He earned an MS in Counseling with a concentration in Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach and has worked within every sector of education, from elementary school English Language Learner classrooms to college residential life.

Raphael Crawford

Programs & Education Associate

Brother Raphael works to support the daily operations of our OST program, coordinates with community partners and supervises volunteers, and aids our classroom teachers in their lesson plans and needs. He began with LPTM as the lead teacher in our Legacy classroom, supporting LPTM Apprentices ages 10-13. He has worked with youth for more than a decade, and has also worked in the service and restaurant industries. His previous youth experience involves with young people to attain access to college with Peer Forward (formerly the College Summit), a nonprofit organization he is also an alumnus of. He has a degree in culinary arts and brings that innate creative ability to the young men of Life Pieces To Masterpieces, helping them explore unique art forms and practice the skills they are passionate about. Raphael is a lifelong Washingtonian, born and raised here in Ward 7, and is an avid Disney fan.

Kevin Pruitt

Finance & Operations Associate

Soul Name: Brother Generous Heart

Kevin Pruitt serves as LPTM’s Finance and Operations Assistant. He has been with Life Pieces since 2018, working in a number of roles, filling organizational gaps, and building successful systems: an average day can include managing receipts, driving youth to LPTM from a range of schools, and serving meals, earning him his soul name of Brother Generous Heart. He has been in the nonprofit field for more than a decade, and has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration. Born in Alabama and raised in Boston, he is a licensed phlebotomist, a background in finance, and has an additional degree in culinary arts.

Shannon Massey

Lead Teacher, Tree House

Sister Shannon is the Lead Teacher in the Tree House classroom, supporting LPTM’s3-5 year-old students in the afterschool and summer program. She leads Apprentices through daily lessons involving various forms of art, academics, athletics, and character education through LPTM’s Human Development System.

Wendell Brown

Lead Teacher, Kings II

Wendell Brown (“Brother Brown” at Life Pieces) is the Lead Teacher in the Kings II classroom, supporting LPTM’s 8-9 year-old Apprentices in the afterschool and summer program. He leads Apprentices through daily lessons involving engaging STEM experiments and activities, service learning and entrepreneurship projects, various forms of art, academics, athletics, and character education through LPTM’s Human Development System. He also manages and supports two LPTM junior mentors in his classroom.

Minami Hofmann

Arts Administrator

Minami has been a part of the LPTM family for over a decade in a number of roles, and currently serves as the arts administrator. Previously, Minami has worked as the Development Coordinator for DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative and as a Writing Tutor for the Corcoran College of Art+Design, as well as working in the U.S. Patent Office. In addition to her work in the youth development field, Minami provides free resume coaching and editing services for low- income individuals. She also works as a comic artist and illustrator. She is a published children’s book author, and her own artwork is routinely exhibited throughout the DMV.

Stacey Adams

Transportation Associate & Assistant Art Teacher

Soul Name: Brother Commitment

Stacey Adams joined Life Pieces in 2008 as a high school student at Spingarn High School in NE DC, mentoring younger Apprentices. Stacy returned to Life Pieces following technical school, and is currently LPTM’s Transportation Associate, Assistant Art Teacher, and member of the front line team. In addition to his job at LPTM, Stacy is a Communications Technician for WMATA. Stacy is the father of two amazing LPTM Apprentices.

Erick Williams

Logistics Associate

Erick Williams is a vital member of LPTM’s Logistics Team, supporting LPTM with daily operations needs including transportation, sanitation, purchasing groceries and supplies, and serving our daily meal. He joined Life Pieces in October 2020, helping build our outdoor campus during the pandemic and taking responsibility for setting up and breaking down our safe, outdoor space, and sanitizing our tables, chairs, and restrooms. Erick is a native Washingtonian and HD Woodson High School graduate. Erick is an honest, loving, caring team player who brings that to LPTM each and every day.

Arieal Jenkins

Kings I Lead Teacher

Sister AJ, Kings I Lead Teacher, is a DC native who once attended Drew Elementary School, where many of her students currently attend. She holds herself as a positive example for everyone in the Kings classroom, not only because of her experience but because of her transparency, courage, and willingness to try new things – which has helped Kings I Apprentices be open-minded to new experiences in the classroom. She is concurrently studying Clinical Adolescent Psychology at the University of Maryland, and brings social-emotional learning and a holistic understanding of our Apprentices to her work. Previously, she taught children of all ages at the Smiling Faces Learning Center.

Kayla Smith

Kings Teacher

Sister Kayla, Kings Teacher, is an experienced educator in the arts and STEM, having previously worked in a STEM-focused preschool in Washington, DC. She has a passion for project-based learning and holistic youth development, and works to help Apprentices accomplish projects from start to finish. A Ward 7 native, Sister Kayla is easy to connect with and makes sure every Apprentice knows they are loved. Apprentices love laughing with Sister Kayla, and the rest of the LPTM team loves the creativity she brings to lesson plans, helping Apprentices and staff alike bring out their inner child.

Ben Lasso

Legacy Lead Teacher & Saturday Academy Coordinator

Soul Name: Brother Phoenix Rising

Brother Ben is the Lead Coordinator for Saturday Academy and has been with LPTM for 9 years. He is an alumni of LPTM’s Train-The-Trainer and Education Architect programs, and continues to take the values and concepts he learned from the Human Development System everywhere he goes in life, including as a poet and hip-hop artist. He has taught LPTM at all ages, from Tree House to Kings to Legacy and now Saturday Academy – and has been a presence in many of the same Apprentices’ life for their full duration in LPTM so far from pre-school to high school.

Creating Art… Changing Lives.

With love, security, and expression, each of us can become a masterpiece.