High School Esports League (HSEL), the largest and longest-running competitive gaming organization serving high school students and teachers, is proud to announce today a partnership with charitable organization Varsity Esports Foundation (VESF). Together, HSEL and VESF will further each other’s ability to inspire high school students to achieve academic success, providing financial assistance and creating opportunities to support under-resourced students nationwide.
“Much like with traditional sports, esports provides a sense of community and opportunity for students, affecting their lives in profound ways for years to come,” said Mason Mullenioux, co-founder and CEO of High School Esports League. “Thanks to charitable contributions made by private and public institutions to our partner Varsity Esports Foundation, together we’ve been able to support over 2,100 schools, which adds up to about 60,000 students and 120,000 parents, teachers, and administrators.”
He continued, “$37 in donations is enough for a student to participate in a whole esports season; $4,000 sponsors an entire school. We believe that esports begins at the high school level, and every dollar helps us make that belief a reality for students across the country.”
“The Varsity Esports Foundation is honored to call High School Esports League a partner in our joint mission to support students through competitive gaming,” said VESF Executive Director, Bubba Gaeddert. “In 2019, VESF awarded roughly $200,000 in grants and scholarships to students across North America. We are actively searching for partners, sponsors, and grassroots donors to help us achieve our $300,000 goal for 2020 so that we can ensure more students reach their potential through esports.”
VESF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to lead students toward better lives, promoting positive core values and encouraging academic excellence through organized esports. The organization assists students in achieving their goals, starting at the high school level and extending into higher education and beyond. Whether students are passionate about a career in professional esports, video games and electronic entertainment, programing, or production, the Varsity Esports Foundation will be there to help students throughout their journey. The organization emphasizes the importance of academic achievement and encourages students to pursue their interests in STEM subjects and higher education — and the practice of healthy lifestyles in order to facilitate their goals. VESF initiatives promote mental health awareness and students connecting with fellow classmates to discourage bullying and promote diversity and inclusion in the high school space.
VESF provides financial support in the forms of scholarships and grants, covering league fees and the cost of equipment, which enables students and schools to participate in esports activities. To date, VESF has awarded $50,000 USD to schools for league fees and $150,000 USD in student scholarships this year, supporting HSEL’s growing list of over 2,100 partnered high schools across North America. VESF’s financial support programs now also include equipment cost support to help schools develop their esports communities on campus. By partnering with leading gaming brands such as award-winning Windows PC system integrator MAINGEAR, Razer, and Viewsonic, the Varsity Esports Foundation and HSEL are able to equip schools and students with the gear needed to participate in competitive esports.
HSEL scholarships — managed exclusively by the VESF and awarded in the form of “Varsity Points” to winning competitors of HSEL seasons, tournaments, and events — can be redeemed toward the tuition of a student’s college of choice. The newly begun HSEL Fall Major esports season (held from October 7 from December 6, 2019) features a $30,000 USD scholarship prize pool for participants.
HSEL and the VESF share the mutual goal of harnessing students’ passion for video games through organized competition to highlight the positive impact esports has in an academic setting. On average, participating students have shown to have improved engagement, higher GPAs, and better career prospects. Thanks to HSEL’s STEM.org certified programs, tournament platform, and VESF scholarships, high schools are armed with both the knowledge and the resources required to positively impact students through competitive gaming. Individuals and organizations in tech, education, entertainment, and related industries interested in supporting esports in schools can make a tax-deductible donation at https://www.