Preparing Youth for
How You Can Help
Our Youth Deserve To Marry Passion With Purpose
Black and brown youth consume games at a 73% rate. Black and brown people make up less than 5% of the workforce building those games. The problem is that the industry has not invited and welcomed Black and Brown youth to find where they fit. It is not clear what career possibilities exist outside of playing games professionally. The images that they see of people working at the highest levels don’t look like them. They can’t see how they can break in and navigate through. It's not clear how to get started. Black and Brown youth miss out on opportunities to marry their passion to their purpose. They also miss out on getting access to high-paying jobs in the gaming industry. These jobs can help them build generational wealth and transform their communities.
We created a pipeline of programs and opportunities to show them the way. It includes an online skills-building platform, a league, and an apprenticeship program.
We understand how young people learn best with technology. Our STEM-accredited online platform maps to common core standards. As a result, youth build skills and capacity for different careers in eSports and video gaming. They gain certifications through digital badges. They also build their professional network and portfolio inside of the platform.
Our eSports league creates a safe space for youth to compete, apply and develop skills. Our league safely supports, guides, and mentors youth from Kindergarten through college. It features three divisions: Mini (grades K-5), Junior (grades 6-8), Senior (grades 9-12), and Collegiate focusing on collegiate gamers attending Minority Serving Institutions (HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs, PBIs, etc.). YeL provides opportunities for youth to compete, build their skills, and win championships. It also serves as a "living lab" for youth who are interested in careers that support gamers such as tournament organizers, broadcasting, production, shoutcasters, eSports journalists, eSports lawyers, game designers and developers, and host of other career pathways. YeL allows these young people to develop their skills and gain relevant experience in their chosen career pathway while also being mentored and coached by industry professionals.
Our apprenticeship program connects youth to college, internship, and career experiences and opportunities. Youth get on-the-job training and mentorship to ensure they succeed in the gaming workforce. This two-year apprenticeship program is open to youth ages 16 - 24. Our one-year pre-apprenticeship program is open to youth ages 12 - 15.
Andrea Richmond came to us as a high school student who wanted to be a game developer and a shoutcaster (a person who calls the play-by-play action during an eSports competition).
Andrea developed her skills through our game design, shoutcasting/streaming, and comic book creation pathways, leveraging our online skills-building platform.
She shoutcasted for our league (and still does so to this day). She also facilitated game design camps in the summer through our summer camp, mentored middle and high school girls in game design during the academic year through our after-school program, and earned money doing all of these things to support herself as she matriculated through college. She was able to purchase her first streaming setup as a result, and she started streaming under the handle @bordeymcbored.
Once Andrea moved into the Apprenticeship Program, we paired her with opportunities to shoutcast and stream for other companies and organizations who are our strategic partners. For example, she shoutcasted for 4 out of the 5 HBCU eSports leagues that have launched over the past 3 years.
Based on her stellar skills, which she developed and honed in our program, Andrea is getting requests from companies such as Esports Business Summt to stream for their big events in Las Vegas. She is also getting requests from brands to promote their products and services during her streams.
Andrea achieved her dream of becoming a professional shoutcaster, and our program provided the platform, safe space, and launching pad for her to do so.
Andrea is not the only success story. To date, we have moved over 50 young people through our apprenticeship program. They are now successful eSports professionals.
Our goal is to move 500 young people through our apprenticeship program over the next two years. We also want to impact 10,000 young people in that same timeframe.
But we need your help! This isn't just an investment in education and workforce development. It's an investment in our youth. With your support, we can prepare them to become the eSports and video gaming professionals that these industries desperately need. In our opinion, this is an investment worth making. Please consider giving to help transform a young person's trajectory for their future.
*Any funding beyond our goal will go towards supporting our programming and showcase events.