For David Horn, who has been an Apprentice, a Junior Mentor, and a Co-Educator, Life Pieces is a way of life. David, a native of Southeast Washington, DC, has been a part of Life Pieces for seventeen years. He first joined Life Pieces when there were only 30 Apprentices in the entire program. “My first day, all I remember is Ms. Mary [Brown]’s cheerfulness and happiness. Oh, and I remember the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches: delicious!” David says with a smile.
While at first skeptical of being in an afterschool program, David was almost immediately drawn in by the family atmosphere that Larry Quick and Mary Brown fostered. “They showed they care about us in real life. It wasn’t just a job at an afterschool program to them. They loved us, even though Larry and Mary had opposite approaches: Larry had no filter; he didn’t sugarcoat. He told us how it was, and we loved him for it. Mary was loving, nurturing, sweet. We needed that. They would take us to go-karts, take us out to eat…it was a family.”
After becoming a Junior Mentor in 2006, David’s appreciation for the Life Pieces mission deepened. “I took a lot of pride in becoming a Junior Mentor. To be a part of teaching and mentoring the ones coming up behind us was special.” David, who also had a nephew in the program, grew in Life Pieces and came to depend on the sense of family and brotherhood he found there. “My favorite memories of Life Pieces are being part of presentations and feeling like I was somebody, and like I had a role. We would practice until 10:30 and make presentations to the City Council. It inspired our brotherhood; we grew up together in the program. Larry taught us how to paint and sew. Art and presentations have always been the backbone of Life Pieces.”
Now a Co-Educator in the Kings II classroom, David credits some of his Life Pieces mentors for inspiring his passion to help others. He hopes he can inspire that same passion in the next generation of Apprentices. “I love seeing the young generation: Brother Tyrin’s dedication, Daquan’s maturity, the growth of David Adams…that young energy is what holds Life Pieces together.”