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Seventeen years ago, the video game industry’s pioneers had a vision. They wanted to show that the interactive technologies at the center of their work had the power to solve social and global issues. From their vision, the ESA Foundation was born.

Since then, the ESA Foundation has amplified the reputation and innovation of the video game industry by supporting students, schools and charities that are improving the lives of kids and expanding their horizons by harnessing the unique power of interactive software.   

With philanthropic support from both the public and the technology and video game industries, ESA Foundation awards scholarships to aspiring game developers, encourages inclusivity in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) fields, and helps organizations use video games to advance good causes. 

 

Creating Meaningful Social Change Through Video Games

The technology developed for games and entertainment has the potential to transform lives. The ESA Foundation awards grants annually to organizations that leverage interactive technologies to achieve meaningful social impact. ESA Foundation grants have: enabled thousands of Girl Scouts to participate in hands-on game design workshops, allowed Inspire USA to develop an online cyberbullying resource for teens, and empowered HopeLab to develop mobile games that promote successful treatment outcomes for young people with cancer, just to name a few examples.   

Girl Scouts developed a video game patch program to engage scouts in game design-related topics and STEAM fields. "Because of the ESA Foundation, we've been able to reach hundreds of girls and introduce them to the video game patch program, which in turn introduces girls to several different careers in video games"  - Kristen Simon, Program Manager, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

Girl Scouts developed a video game patch program to engage scouts in game design-related topics and STEAM fields. "Because of the ESA Foundation, we've been able to reach hundreds of girls and introduce them to the video game patch program, which in turn introduces girls to several different careers in video games"

- Kristen Simon, Program Manager, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

iCivics offers web-based games that provide instructions on topics including community service, government powers, constitutional law, civil rights, and more. "The ESA Foundation has been a reliable, wonderful partner that understands gaming and using digital resources in the classroom - that's hard to find."  - Louise Dube, Executive Director, iCivits

iCivics offers web-based games that provide instructions on topics including community service, government powers, constitutional law, civil rights, and more. "The ESA Foundation has been a reliable, wonderful partner that understands gaming and using digital resources in the classroom - that's hard to find."

- Louise Dube, Executive Director, iCivits

Extra Life is a 24-hour video game marathon and fundraiser of more than $40 million for medical research and treatment at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. "ESA Foundation just threw their arms around this Foundation when we were still in our infancy and helped us grow our team."  - Jeromy Adams, Founder, Extra Life

Extra Life is a 24-hour video game marathon and fundraiser of more than $40 million for medical research and treatment at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. "ESA Foundation just threw their arms around this Foundation when we were still in our infancy and helped us grow our team."

- Jeromy Adams, Founder, Extra Life

 
After-School All-Stars provides comprehensive after-school programs to help students be successful in school and life. “Through support from ESA Foundation, we are able to offer video game design courses to spark an interest in coding and game development and encourage students to explore STEM-related careers.”  - Elizabeth Treble, Senior Vice President of Development, After-School All-Stars

After-School All-Stars provides comprehensive after-school programs to help students be successful in school and life. “Through support from ESA Foundation, we are able to offer video game design courses to spark an interest in coding and game development and encourage students to explore STEM-related careers.”

- Elizabeth Treble, Senior Vice President of Development, After-School All-Stars

BUILDING A PIPELINE OF FUTURE VIDEO GAME PROFESSIONALS

Since 2007, to encourage diversity in STEAM-fields and the video game industry and support the development of its future leaders, ESA Foundation has helped over 350 women and minority students across the U.S. follow their dream of earning a video game-related degree, while also creating a pipeline of diverse and skilled job candidates for the growing industry.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: ESA Foundation SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

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

Steven Harmon
Game Modeling & Design, University of Southern California

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

Nithya Deepak   Computer & Information Sciences, Scripps College  “The ESA Foundation 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 of representation. It means that me and fellow women or minority groups are supported and have a place in the video game industry.”

Nithya Deepak
Computer & Information Sciences, Scripps College

“The ESA Foundation 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 of representation. It means that me and fellow women or minority groups are supported and have a place in the video game industry.”

Isiah Rosa   Game Modeling & Design, New York University  “No matter what games you play, they all can be used as a learning experience, be it in the context of the game itself, or even in a larger context, such as social justice. I hope that one day I too can make games for change that teach an important lesson.”

Isiah Rosa
Game Modeling & Design, New York University

“No matter what games you play, they all can be used as a learning experience, be it in the context of the game itself, or even in a larger context, such as social justice. I hope that one day I too can make games for change that teach an important lesson.”

Geneva Heyward   Game Modeling & Design, New York University  “In 5 years, I hope to inspire people with the games I create. I want to help marginalized people feel safer by developing games that make people feel good, loved, and make sure people know that they belong in the industry.”

Geneva Heyward
Game Modeling & Design, New York University

“In 5 years, I hope to inspire people with the games I create. I want to help marginalized people feel safer by developing games that make people feel good, loved, and make sure people know that they belong in the industry.”

 

Learn More about THe Computer and video game arts scholarship program