If you ever travel through Goldsboro, on Highway 70 past the Walmart you will see a little building with a blue roof. The building doesn’t look like much but inside it is the main headquarters for several radio stations owned by Curtis Media Group. I found myself there a few weeks ago. Not because I was being interviewed, but because I was the one doing the interviewing. Last week, I found myself sitting across from someone I have known it seems like forever. But this time, it wasn’t just a standard interview. The person I was sitting across from was someone that I had admired since basically my husband came into my life ( yep I have known her that long.)
I have been wanting to feature the particular person I was interviewing for a while, but my schedule always seemed to get away from me. But a few weeks ago I made the time; I found myself sitting across from her. And that person is Carol Bowden.
Let me start at the beginning. When my husband and I first got married, Carol was someone I admired and came to love. At the time she was married to my husband’s boss man. As we had each one of our girls, the love we had for her grew stronger, and the girls started calling her Grandma Carol. (Even though technically she is only a few years older than us. Her daughter Morgan, who we also adore, was Maddie’s and Mikaela’s first babysitter.) Carol has since moved onward and upward with her life and manages two radio stations.
When she started working at the station, she thought the job would be a transitional one for her after coming off of a divorce. But after two months, she was asked by the general manager to sit in the booth for a week, and after that the rest was history. I remember when the girls would hear her on the radio they would squeal with excitement and scream,”That’s Grandma Carol!!!” They love her so much.
But that was so many years ago, now she is not only on air talent but also station manager of not one but several stations, WGBR, WSSG, and Goldsboro Daily News, an online news site. I asked her to take me through a typical day for her. Just check out her schedule
- 5;30 am – check news site and check sources to make sure things are right.
- 8:15 am – She comes in work
- 8:30 am- she is live on the air with her program Newsmakers. On this program, she interviews local leaders who are working to make the community better. She even got to interview the Governor of our state.
When asked why she loves her job? And folks, she loves her job she indicated that there were two reasons why. First, she sees her job as an opportunity for businesses in Wayne County be all that they can be. And the second part is that she can use it for the good of the community. That is where Stop The Whispers came into play. Stop The Whispers is a campaign that was started to stop the whispering about mental illness. Did you know that one out of 4 people are affected by mental illness and most people are ashamed to talk about it. Carol wants to STOP THE WHISPERS and have open, upfront and honest conversations about it.
She created a dialogue in the community using her voice with her help of her husband, David and the support of her family. This conversation eventually lead to a massive Lip Sync Battle that Carol admitted that it was bigger than she could have imagined. The first Lip Sync Battle was held a few months ago, and it was a huge success. They had ten performers- leaders in the community. And did you know that every one of those performers shared a story? At the end of the night, the audience of 400 was asked to stand if they have ever been affected by mental illness. Carol said that when she looked out into the audience, hardly anyone was sitting.
It warms my heart to see people taking a stand for those that are less fortunate. But knowing Carol like I do, it doesn’t surprise me at all. This was the woman who went to visit my dad when he was in his last days at the hospice, just to let him know how much he meant to the community. I remember reading this Facebook status and tears flowed from my eyes.
1st Thought – I had the opportunity to visit with three people yesterday… one who has been a long-time friend but we hadn’t connected for awhile; one who is a fairly new friend in my life but became dear to me and now he’s retiring and moving on; and one who has been a friend to many through his service to his country and his community, and now he’s battling very poor health. Three special people, all at different phases in their lives, all with important roles into who I’ve been and who I’ve become. So blessed to know these friends.
Knowing this I will have to say that that I am blessed to call her friend. We need more people like Carol Bowden in the world. Individuals who aren’t afraid to stand up and speak for those who have no voice.
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