Rockwood DIY

February 18, 2017
Rockwood DIY Computer Class

You can find out more about all of our Rockwood DIY workshops on our YouTube Playlist. For questions about Rockwood DIY, please contact Seth Ring, Director of Education and Volunteers: seth@metroeast.org

What is MetroEast up to at Rockwood DIY (Digital Inclusion and Youth)

Consider these facts: 90% of job applications must be completed online. 80% of students need the internet for homework. Do you have access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer? Think about how integral they have become in your daily life. You rely on these devices to interact with your office, contact your children's school, make doctor’s appointments, and run your businesses.

Imagine coming to this country as a young person with ambitions of an education and career, but no knowledge of computers. What if you had no reliable access to the internet? Imagine applying for a job on your smartphone, or your child writing an essay for their history class, with their thumbs.

These are the challenges that 48 million Americans are facing today, and a disproportionate number of these people are the elderly, poor, and people of color. The heart of the MetroEast DIY program is to serve Gresham’s Rockwood community to close this very real digital divide. We are giving people access to computers, broadband, and training so they can benefit from the technologies by which many of us have prospered.

During the past year we have worked with nearly 400 residents of the Rockwood community. We gave basic computer classes for immigrants and refugees, a Smartphones for Seniors class, hosted a Digital Storytelling camp and a coding camp for youth among other curriculum. To overcome participation barriers, classes were free, and we provided childcare, meals and transportation.

In our basic computer class, 96% were women making less than $30,000 dollars per year. 100% were people of color. We have had immigrant children, parents and grandparents attend our classes. We want to make sure we help all generations of Rockwood citizens to thrive in place. We believe in “digital equity for all," and we hope you will join us in spreading the word about Rockwood DIY.