ESA Foundation Announces 2018-19 Scholarship Recipients

Pursuing a creative, fulfilling career in the video game industry requires two things: talent and determination. This year, 35 women and minority students who demonstrate both of these qualities will receive assistance on their journey to transform the industry as ESA Foundation scholars.

The ESA Foundation, in recognition of National Scholarship Month, today announced its support for 35 students of diverse backgrounds pursuing video game-related degrees in the 2018-19 academic year. Each student will receive $3,000 to study majors that have the potential to influence the video game industry, ranging from video game design to computer science. As ESA Foundation scholars, students will also have access to mentorship and networking opportunities with industry leaders.

“Presenting the ESA Foundation scholarships to a group of so many talented young people is an incredible honor. These scholars bring energy and passion for creating worlds and experiences for others to enjoy, and their enthusiasm for making video games that inspire, educate and entertain serves as an inspiration to future industry leaders,” said Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation. “The foundation is committed to supporting educational opportunities that encourage young people to pursue careers they’re passionate about while helping cultivate talent that will lead the video game industry well into the future.”

Since 2007, the ESA Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships to more than 300 students, developing a talent pipeline for the video game industry that is diverse and inclusive, helping to ensure the future of games is more representative of the gamer community. This year’s scholars are attending colleges and universities across 11 states and Puerto Rico.

“As a first-generation college student from a working-class family, this scholarship is a reminder to my family and me that college can be viable – that I can get my degree and make a positive impact, not only on the lives of the people of who play my games but the world at large,” said 2018-19 ESA Foundation Scholar Steven Harmon. “This scholarship means that I can continue my education at my dream school, where I wake up excited and grateful for every moment.”

“The ESA Scholarship means a lot to me, as it encourages women and minorities to pursue computer science and game development, which are areas where you usually do not see a lot of diversity or representation,” added ESA Foundation Scholar Nithya Deepak. “It means that fellow women or minority groups and I are supported and have a place in the video game industry.”

The ESA Foundation scholarship is made possible by a significant contribution from Bethesda Softworks and other entertainment software and technology companies such as Electronic Arts, GooglePlay, Nintendo, PlayStation, Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft.

The 2018-19 ESA Foundation scholarship recipients are:

Meha Magesh
Hometown: Irvine, CA
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Isiah Rosa
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Institution: New York University
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Alexis Lambert
Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Institution: University of Central Florida
Major: Computer Programming

Asenith Padilla
Hometown: Carolina, PR
Institution: Atlantic College
Major: Science of Art and Design of Video games

Andrew Hoyt
Hometown: Miami, FL
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Major: Computer Science Education

Atsina Corrington
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Felicia Chen
Hometown: Fair Oaks, CA
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Digital Media Design

Haley Jarosz
Hometown: Dudley, MA
Institution: Becker College
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Geneva Heyward
Hometown: Corona, NY
Institution: New York University
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Jiaqi Gao
Hometown: New York, NY
Institution: University of Chicago
Major: Computer Programming

Julianna Arcala
Hometown: Randolph, NJ
Institution: Drexel University
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Kaitlyn Geer
Hometown: Middletown, NY
Institution: Marist College
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Kaitlyn Krystyniak
Hometown: Chelmsford, MA
Institution: Becker College
Major: Interactive Media & Game Art; Graphic Design

Kayleigh East
Hometown: Rome, NY
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: Web Design & Multimedia

Kelsey Coen
Hometown: Castro Valley, CA
Institution: California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Kimberly Do
Hometown: Plant City, FL
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Marlena Rehder
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Institution: University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Major: Computer Programming

Marissa Florio
Hometown: Hilton, NY
Institution: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Major: Video Game Designer

Maurice Hendricks
Hometown: Pensacola, FL
Institution: University of Florida
Major: Digital Arts & Sciences

Nithya Deepak
Hometown: Cupertino, CA
Institution: Scripps College
Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Primrose Kirk
Hometown: King Ferry, NY
Institution: Berklee College of Music
Major: Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games

Rachel Kowalski
Hometown: Wellington, OH
Institution: Shawnee State University
Major: Gaming and Simulation Arts

Sam Lee
Hometown: Moraga, CA
Institution: University of California-Davis
Major: Computer Programming

Selah Wright
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Steven Harmon
Hometown: Denver, CO
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modelling & Design

Swetha Prabakaran
Hometown: Ashburn, VA
Institution: University of California-Berkeley
Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Lennox Wildman
Hometown: Pooler, GA
Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Major: Computer Programming

William Yang
Hometown: Sheboygan, WI
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Stout
Major: Game Modelling & Design

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