Women's group Ninety-nine Girlfriends awards $17,666 for Rockwood Digital Inclusion & Youth project.

FILE PHOTO - MetroEast's Marty JonesMetroEast Community Media's goal of bringing digital equity and inclusion to all residents of East Multnomah County was given a boost after securing a large grant from a local organization.

MetroEast received $17,666 as a finalist award winner at the Ninety-nine Girlfriends Impact Awards. The organization harnesses the collective power of women to award funding to nonprofits doing transformative work in the community.

Martin Jones, MetroEast CEO, Head of production John Lugton and Director of Community Relations Monica Weitzel accepted the award in December.

"These new grants and the continued support of the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission will have a transformative impact on our programming at Rockwood as we seek full-time funding in support of this vibrant and diverse community," Jones said.

The grant from Ninety-nine Girlfriends is the latest to support MetroEast, joining V&B Philanthropy, city of Gresham Arts and Culture, U.S. Bank Community Foundation and the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission.

The grant will be used to support MetroEast's Rockwood Digital Inclusion and Youth (DIY) program, which provides access to broadband connectivity, computers, and training in the 4,000-square-foot lounge located in the heart of Rockwood. During the first year of part-time operations, the organization has served more than 400 Rockwood residents through multiple programs like adult computer literacy, videogame coding, music video production and smart phone training.

The plan is to open a permanent DIY facility at the future Rockwood Rising site.

MetroEast's mission is to use media to invigorate civic engagement, inspire diverse voices and strengthen community life. Ninety-nine Girlfriends is a group of women from Portland and Southwest Washington who pool funds and resources to make a significant impact in helping local issues.

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