Acclaimed DC Youth Center Vandalized

Center was featured on the Today Show

Vandals struck Life Pieces to Masterpieces, a northeast Washington youth center once featured on the Today Show, causing $10,000 worth of damage.

Glass was broken, paint was tossed across the floor and on a flat screen television, hateful graffiti was scrawled across walls, and numerous pieces of artwork were damaged or destroyed.

Police believe the vandalism took place sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

“I was devastated,” said Mary Brown, the center’s executive director. “It was like seeing 15 years of really hard work doing good things in the community basically trashed.”

Life Pieces to Masterpieces is an arts-based youth development program. It received a “Lend a Hand” award from the Today Show in 2004.

Employees vowed to clean up and move on.

"We have a mission to take challenges and turn them into possibilities,” said Xavier Exum, the organization’s lead mentor. “That’s all this is, just another hurdle that we have to get over.”

“It does hurt, but out of that hurt we’re going to grow from this,” said Raymond Covington, who chairs the Life Pieces to Masterpieces’ board.

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