Tag Archives: technology

Resolve to Serve Stories: NECAT

Rhoda Scherer remembers when she first stepped into the studios of Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television (NECAT) five years ago.

“I had no clue about television,” Scherer says. She’d been invited to visit the studio by a producer she’d met while volunteering at her niece and nephew’s school yard sale.

“I came to NECAT, I sat in on one of her productions, and I just fell in love with the studio.”

Scherer — who now produces a show called “Psychology Matters” — learned how to run the cameras, lights, and control room through NECAT’s training program.

“You learn in the classes exactly how to use everything,” Scherer says. “They make it so easy to learn.”

That’s music to the ears of former NECAT CEO Trish Crist, who adds that the technology of a TV studio is not as complicated as you might think.

“The skills are mastered pretty quickly,” she said. “Then you get to use them as part of a team to help someone else bring his vision to life and express himself on television.” Crew volunteers earn credit hours they can apply toward advanced production classes, where they can learn green screen effects and specialized camera work.

Super Intern Jay Witt
Jay Witt

NECAT’s channels currently broadcast more than 400 shows to 19 Middle Tennessee counties. Because programming is produced by community members for community members, diverse viewpoints and topics can get air time.

As Scherer, who has a psychology degree, gained experience in the studio, she knew she wanted to transition to producing her own show. She created “Psychology Matters” to focus on mental-health awareness. Her show features experts who answer questions that, often, Scherer crowdsources from her show’s Facebook audience.

For Jay Witt, another NECAT volunteer, helping others create TV shows is a powerful way to facilitate creative expression. Witt came to the studio in 2017 to attend Spring Break TV Camp. Like Scherer, he had little knowledge of TV production. Now, he manages the network’s Super Crew — which is responsible for all crew positions for the Our Nashville series, where each episode features a different nonprofit.

Witt, who’s now considering a career in film, has some advice for anyone interested in volunteering at NECAT, but who might be intimidated by what seems like a lot of technical hurdles: “Don’t be nervous at all. Even if it’s something you don’t end up loving as a future career, it’s still a great experience.”

NECAT Sports TV Camp
NECAT Sports TV Camp participants

Getting Started With NECAT

Want to dip your toes in the TV-production waters? NECAT offers a free two-night TV production class, where you will learn all the technical elements of working in a TV studio —  camera operation, video switching, audio engineering, conducting interviews, lighting design and teleprompter control.

From there, you can choose one of two pathways — for Producers or Technicians.

Technician Pathway — allows you to crew on any NECAT-produced show
$40 annual fee

Producer Pathway — allows you to book the studio and produce your own NECAT show
$80 annual fee 
• Once you’ve completed the aforementioned free production class, those who choose the Producer Pathway must take a two-night TV Pre-Production class (for a $50 one-time fee), which teaches how to organize and plan a show for success.

Super Crew with HON Our Nashville shoot
NECAT’s Super Crew (plus some HONies)

Interested in volunteering with NECAT? Check out their available opportunities here, or sign up for training courses here

Photos courtesy of NECAT.

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The geeks have landed!

GeekCause, which matches Nashville’s most talented techies with community partners in need of their services, has a new home at Hands On Nashville! GeekCause provides a low-cost platform for agencies to solve tech-based challenges through the support of skilled volunteers. 

Monica Weiss-Sharp, HON’s GeekCause project manager, took some time to answer questions about the program.  

What’s your background and how did you get involved in GeekCause? 

monica mugFor the past five years, I was the Practice Manager at a veterinary hospital in Franklin. I oversaw all areas of daily functioning (patient care, customer service, staff support), and helped guide the practice through tremendous growth, from two to six full-time veterinarians. At the practice, I had the opportunity to learn about and troubleshoot all sorts of tech solutions, from digital X-ray systems to practice-management software.

For four of my five years at the veterinary practice, I was also pursuing a master’s in social work with a focus on Organizational Leadership. During the final year of my degree program, I had the opportunity to intern with Hands On Nashville. I worked on many different projects, including some initial research and planning around how to bolster skills-based volunteerism.

My strengths definitely lie in the realm of guiding ideas toward becoming a concrete realities, and I’m looking forward to applying those strengths to support the successful completion of GeekCause projects. 

How does GeekCause work? 

GeekCause connects talented tech volunteers with nonprofits who need their support. Then I serve as a guide for both throughout the process. It is super easy both for volunteers to sign up and complete their skills profile and for nonprofit organizations to submit projects to us. From there, I review the project to make sure it’s a good fit for a volunteer to work on, and make a match with a volunteer whose skills line up with the project’s needs. I remain connected with the project from kickoff to close-out to help ensure success. In the end, the nonprofit gains a new capability and the volunteer has the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped strengthen their community.

Continue reading The geeks have landed!

Introducing our 2014-15 Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Interns!

From August through May, these 10 outstanding teens will serve as a leadership team that works with Hands On Nashville staff to develop and lead youth projects that impact the community. Each has chosen a concentration – Arts, Fitness and Nutrition, or Technology – and will design and facilitate educational and skill-building lessons for youth served by area nonprofits.

This group is #hypedonhelp and we’re hyped to introduce them to you! Please meet out 2014-15 Youth Volunteer Corp Interns…

YVC Intern Alex Alexcee
“I serve because somebody served me.” – YVC Intern Alex Alexcee

Sarah Alexcee is a senior at Glencliff High School where she is proud to be “the voice of Glencliff High School in Newspaper Club.”  Sarah says if there is an issue or topic that needs to be addressed at her school, she is the one who authors the story. Sarah’s goal is to help the community while further enhancing her leadership skills in working with other students and adults who are committed to helping others.

Fun Fact: If Sarah could only listen to one CD/album forever, she would listen to Artpop by Lady Gaga.

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

 

YVC Intern Anagha Ashokan
“I serve because I want to make a difference.” – YVC Intern Anagha Ashokan

Anagha Ashokan, a sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, has served as a delegate at Model United Nations, a Volunteer Mentor for the 2014 PACE (Pencil Academic & Career Enrichment) Summer Camp for Middle School students, and is the class officer in her school’s Student Government Association. Angagha says she is excited to take on this new leadership role by giving back to the community.

Fun Fact: If Anagha could have any superpower, it would be the ability to travel through time.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

YVC Intern Michael Canonico
“I serve because I learn most through service.” – YVC Intern Michael Canonico

Michael Canonico is a senior at Father Ryan High School where he has been an officer on the student council for the past two years and is a student ambassador. As a YVC Intern this school year, Michael hopes to learn from the youth he will be working with and broaden his perspectives. His goal is to improve his leadership skills.

Fun Fact: If Michael could travel to anywhere in the world, he would go to Rome. “Rome is a center of faith, history, art, and culture,” He says.”All that is truly human can be seen in Rome and in her history.”

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

 

 YVC Intern Kara Cobb
“I serve because I want to change the world.” – YVC Intern Kara Cobb

Kara Cobb, a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, is excited to be returning for a second consecutive year as a YVC Intern. During this internship, Kara says she wishes to learn how to better enrich service projects and to become a better leader.

Fun Fact: If Kara could travel anywhere in the world, she would pick the Maldives. “It seems like a perfect paradise,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

 

 

 

YVC intern Angelica Flores
“I serve because it makes me and other people happy.” – YVC intern Angelica Flores

Angelica Flores is a junior at Father Ryan High School where she organizes shows and fundraising opportunities for the Theater Club, is a member of the Relay For Life committee, and also serves on the Veteran’s 5k Leadership committee. Angelica has also attended a national Youth Leadership Conference, and her goal for this internship is to learn how to organize intriguing service events for her peers.

Fun Fact: If Angelica could eat only one food forever, she would choose smoothies – “I’m more than a little obsessed with them, and they’re good for you,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

YVC Intern Hannah Levy
“I serve because I love helping the community.” – YVC Intern Hannah Levy

Hannah Levy, a sophomore at Brentwood High School, hopes to achieve a greater connection with her community through this internship. Hannah is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, where she tutors other students in math, and is also a member of her school’s student council and Peer Leadership Team.

Fun Fact: If Hannah could do anything, she would travel. “I would love to observe culture in different regions, as well as visit many of the iconic sites spread across the world,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

 

 YVC Intern Camryn Magsby
“I serve because I love to give back.” – YVC Intern Camryn Magsby

Camryn Magsby is a sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. Last summer, Camryn  taught youth about nutrition and health while serving as an Urban Agriculture Intern. Through the YVC internship, Camry hopes to gain knowledge and skills that she can apply to a future career in community organization.

Fun Fact: If Camryn could travel anywhere, she would go to Spain, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic. “I am very fascinated with Spanish language, so traveling to different countries and learning more about their rich culture [would be] a very fun way to meet new people and experience new opportunities,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

YVC Intern Karthik Pradeep
“I serve because it is fun and rewarding.” – YVC Intern Karthik Pradeep

Karthik Pradeep is a sophomore at Centennial High School. Last summer, he helped teachers lead summer encore programs at Lipscomb Elementary and Clovercroft Elementary schools. As a YVC Intern, Karthik says he hope to spread as much of his knowledge in the realm of computer science to others as he can, and in the process, learn something new through the enrichment of others.

Fun Fact: If Karthik could only listen to one song forever, it would be
“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay.

Internship Concentration: Technology

 

YVC Intern Caroline Rivers
“I serve because it make me feel alive.” – YVC Intern Caroline Rivers

Caroline Rivers is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High school. She says she hopes to learn the best ways to work with children in our community through her YVC Internship. Last year, Caroline started her own tutoring business last year, and she is a member of the senior dance company at Bellevue Dance Center.

Fun Fact: If Caroline could travel anywhere, she would go to India. “I want to be immersed in the beautiful culture,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

 

YVC Intern Raffi Yang
“I serve because I enjoy helping others.” – YVC Intern Raffi Yang

Raffi Yang is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where he is a senior member and building coordinator of the school’s Science Olympiad team. Besides having fun, Raffi says he hopes to meet a diverse group of people through his involvement in this internship.

Fun Fact: If Raffi could have one superpower, it would to be able to predict the future. “I like knowing what comes in the future,” he says.

Internship Concentration: Technology