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Meet the CEO

Walter McNeil is a native Baltimorean. He was educated in the tough streets of Baltimore City. He attended Harlem Park Elementary, Harlem Park Junior High and Walbrook Senior High School. He matriculated to Coppin State College (now Coppin State University) where he completed his academic studies receiving two degrees, Bachelors of Social Work and Bachelors of Social Science. He later attended the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work where he received his Masters Degree in Social Work. Walter is licensed on every level of Social Work: Social Work Associate, Graduate Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Mr. Walt, as he is affectionately called by his Participants, is the recipient of numerous awards and citations. Most recently, he received March Funeral Home’s Good Neighbor Award and the American Red Cross “Chairman’s Award” both for outstanding community service. On December 8, 2009, he was granted his Christmas wish from The Tom Joyner Morning Show, where his life’s work was highlighted on the show. He has received recognition from Maryland’s top political leaders; Governor Martin O’ Malley, Mayor Sheila Dixon, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Catherine Pugh and Congressman Elijah Cummings and Ben Cardin. He has been listed in the Who’s Who Among Executives for the past ten years and his vision has received recognition from local and national media organizations including The Montel Williams Show, WBAL’s Channel 11 – “Fighting Back Series”, WMAR TV 2 – To the Point, Mayor’s Channel – Spotlight on the City, WEAA (88.9FM) – The Back Page with host Craig Thompson, WOLB 1010 AM – “Will Talk” with Will Smith and an on-going interview on the internet –

Presently, he is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Challengers Independent Living, Challengers Advance, Challengers Beyond, Bert’s Place and Bert’s Place TOO and coming in July 2014, Challengers Teen Parent Program. He is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated where he is currently active in Epsilon Nu Sigma, Baltimore County’s graduate chapter. Most importantly, he is a nurturing father of 2, who takes an active role in his daughter’s lives. His oldest daughter attends Brown University in Providence Rhode Island and his youngest daughter is a straight A student at Sudbrook Magnet school. He attributes his success as a father and businessman to his wife of 21 years. Challengers recently celebrated fifteen years of service. Mr. McNeil continues to be humble, motivated, enthusiastic and passionate about his cause and vows to continue to be an advocate for the needs of adolescents in foster care.

Walter McNeil,


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