Bennett Alumna Donates SXSW Prize Money to Alma Mater

Marissa Jennings

Bennett College alumna Marissa Jennings won a $1,000 community service grant during the recent SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, but her win will pay off for students at her alma mater.

The CEO of SOCIALgrlz, a web publishing company which develops content and tech platforms for black females ages 13-17, has donated the Dewey Winburne Community Service award cash prize to the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Bennett, where it will be used for program enhancement in tech professional development.

According to a release, Jennings has partnered with corporations like Microsoft to spur tech exposure to young black women and girls, and has worked with the Girl Scouts of America and Black Entertainment Television to promote technology as a practical career option.

Jennings was part of a delegation of minority-owned startups from Washington DC to travel to SXSW for networking and presentation. This year’s festival was a landmark event for dozens of HBCU students and alumni who traveled to SXSW to meet with tech industry insiders, and to bring innovative products to the event that popularized social platforms like Twitter and Foursquare.

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