On episode 71 of the Nooze Hounds podcast, Ryan spoke with William McNeely Jr., founder and CEO of Do Greater Charlotte, which has partnered with more than 30 corporate companies and community organizations to transform the underutilized space under Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church into CRTV Lab at Shiloh, a high-tech creative hub for teens, as reported by Liz Bertrand earlier in March.
In 2019, Do Greater Charlotte launched its Mobile CRTV Lab, a delivery truck turned mobile classroom that included broadband, iPads, laptops and other tech tools for underserved youth. But the pandemic, which isolated kids at home and raised concerns about social distancing, made it clear a larger, fully equipped space that could accommodate more kids was also needed.
The new location, which opened in November 2022, provides a permanent home for the organization and creative space for area youth.
On the podcast, McNeely talks about his upbringing in west Charlotte, his work along Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity, and a diagnosis in 2016 that almost took his life but only motivated him to get more directly involved in community work.
“I have a picture of myself being wheeled back into the operating room with an iPad on my lap, that they had to take from me, and it was all the plans for Do Greater after the surgery,” McNeely told Bertrand. “So, it was an understanding that, OK, I’m getting ready to go into this 15-hour surgery, but on the other side I already have the plans getting ready to be activated.”
Remember you can catch Nooze Hounds on Spotify and other places where you find podcasts and be sure to check out Queen City Podcast Network for a slew of other great Charlotte podcasts that aren’t quite as good as ours but pretty damn close. Find past Nooze Hounds episodes here.
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