CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new teen tech center is opening Tuesday at the McCrorey YMCA.
According to a news release, the tech center is designed to allow teenagers to have access to and explore the world through technology. Within this space, teens are able to participate in mentorships, collaborative and individual projects, training and workshops with the help and support of The Clubhouse Network.
The center will give teens access to tools for film production, virtual reality, 3D design, audio engineering, and more. Access to this type of technology can essentially open doors and lead to career opportunities.
“I think it is amazing," Cameron Dixon, a west Charlotte teen, said. "We spend a lot of time on technology and I feel like it is an outlet for us teens nowadays."
It’s also the first Best Buy Tech Center in North Carolina and creates an opportunity for teens to explore their passions for free.
“You can start a clothing brand here and you can make backgrounds and logos for anything,” Dixon explained. You can do music, and I think it can help people who have these skills and even learn these skills.”
Dixon has his eye on developing his musical talents.
“I really like the DJ Booth," he said. "I’m not that good at it yet but I’m learning. I know how to make the music switch around. I’m getting better.”
Center coordinator Shatorie Jones said the center gives teens an outlet to be innovative; it is where technology meets imagination.
“They can come and do things like get in the recording studio, start their own business with the cricket machine and T-shirt press, and even sit and be a podcaster," Jones said.
It’s about connecting teens with what they may not normally be able to access.
“With this tech center being right here in this community, in their community where they can walk here, they can ride the city bus here, they can ride the school bus here… it gives them a big opportunity,” Jones said.
It’s a safe space that teens say they are grateful for.
“Every kid that I have seen come through here, they have tried something new,” Dixon said. “So I feel like they are changing the lives of those who have come in here.”
The Best Buy Tech Center is designed for teens between the ages of 13-18 years old and is completely free to use after registering. Once they turn 19, they can become alumni members and continue to use the facility. Just complete the Permission Slip and email it to McCroreyTeenTech@YMCACharlotte.org or drop it by in person.
The Center is equipped with:
- Recording Studio
- Audio Production
- Green Screen
- Photography and Videography
- 3D Printer
- Adobe Creative Stations
- Mac Desktops
- Button Maker
- Cricut Machine
- iRobot Coding
- Skill Training
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