WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESA Foundation) today awarded $111,000 in scholarships to promote video game industry workforce diversity. Through the 2019-2020 ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship program, 35 scholarships totaling $105,000 were awarded to women and minority students who are pursuing degrees such as video game art and design, computer animation, and virtual technology. In addition to those scholarships, for the first time, three recipients will receive $2,000 scholarships, in partnership with Gay Gaming Professionals (GGP), for their community service and leadership within the LGBTQ+ community.
The ESA Foundation is dedicated to helping bring new perspectives to the video game workforce by offering a wide variety of scholarships and grants. The annual scholarship encourages women and minorities to turn their video game passion into careers by supporting science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education paths.
"Girls and young women who play video games are three times more likely than those who don't play to go into STEAM careers. This program helps nurture and support that passion during their formative college years," said Anastasia Staten, executive director, ESA Foundation. "This scholarship continues to empower the next generation of game creators, leading to the evolution of a more diverse industry."
The ESA Foundation has partnered with GGP for the first time to award scholarships to three individuals positively impacting the LGBTQ+ community through community service and volunteer activities.
"Today's gamer population is more diverse than ever, and it is our mission to foster an inclusive environment for gamers of every background, gender and sexual orientation," said Gordon Bellamy, president and CEO of GGP. "In partnership with the ESA Foundation, we are committed to providing a platform for all voices to be heard."
All scholarships awarded for the 2019-2020 school year will be used by recipients to relieve the expense of tuition, books and other education-related items. The students are also invited to attend E3 for the annual induction of the new class of scholarship recipients where they will have the opportunity to meet with executives at leading video game companies and learn more about working in the field.
"It means a lot to me to be awarded this scholarship," said recipient Nyhriel Smith, a freshman simulation science, games, and animation major at Howard University. "It's not only a really helpful way to get me through college, it's an endorsement of everything I hope to achieve in the future."
Established in 2007, the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship was created to assist women and minority students who are pursuing degrees leading to careers in the video game industry. The annual scholarship, awarded to almost 400 recipients since its inception, is available to graduating high school seniors as well as full-time undergraduates studying at accredited four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.
To date, the ESA Foundation has provided more than $20 million for a wide variety of causes. For more information and eligibility requirements for future scholarship opportunities from the ESA Foundation, please visit www.esafoundationscholars.org/.
About The ESA Foundation
The ESA Foundation provides scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supports charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology to create meaningful opportunities for America's youth. We seek to harness the collective power of the interactive entertainment industry to create positive social impact in our communities. We support geographically diverse projects and programs that benefit grantees of all ages, races and religions. To date, ESA Foundation has raised more than $20 million for a wide variety of worthy causes primarily through our signature event, Nite to Unite.
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SOURCE ESA Foundation