Non-profit renovates abandoned building into bustling business school

Non-profit renovates abandoned building into bustling business school

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - With its roots in North Charleston, Metanoia now has a new place to call home.

"It was really in bad condition before we came here to fix it up," says 17-year-old Desiree Horlback.

And, fix it up, they did. This is what the building looked like until Metanoia stepped in. It took countless volunteers and a few years to renovate the abandoned building on Reynolds Avenue. The youth center is a business school for the kids of the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood.

"Chicora will now be an example for all communities where you may think there's criminal activity," explains Burnie Mazyck, the president of SC Association of Community Development Corporations. "You may think there's youth violence. You may think there's gang activity. Young people will see no, this can be my community."

Bill Stanfield, the CEO of Metanoia, has lived in the area for eleven years. On Thursday, the organization revealed a 5,000-square foot teaching center, with two functioning businesses run by high school students.

"For every dollar they save up to $1000, we'll match it for three-to-one as long as they spend it on college," says Stanfield. "If they save a thousand of their own dollars, they can go to college with $4,000."

The new center will officially open in a few weeks. The final phase is adding a student-run café, which is expected to be completed early next year.