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More than fifteen 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 STEM (science, technology, engineering, 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 STEM 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 STEM 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

Extra Life is a 24-hour video game marathon and fundraiser of more than $22 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 $22 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

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

BUILDING A PIPELINE OF FUTURE VIDEO GAME PROFESSIONALS

Since 2007, to encourage diversity in STEM-fields and the video game industry and support the development of its future leaders, ESA Foundation has helped 263 women and minority students across the U.S. follow their dream of earning a video game-related degree, while also creating a pipeline of skilled job candidates for our growing industry.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: ESA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Valerie Malcomb Game Development Major, Marshall University   “This scholarship means I can focus less on my financial situation and more on my school work, internship, and personal game design endeavors.  More importantly, it means that this industry cares enough about its future employees to invest in their education.  And to me, that means the world.” 

Valerie Malcomb
Game Development Major, Marshall University  

“This scholarship means I can focus less on my financial situation and more on my school work, internship, and personal game design endeavors.  More importantly, it means that this industry cares enough about its future employees to invest in their education.  And to me, that means the world.” 

Neel Shah Game Design & Computer Science Major, Northeastern University “As a first generation college student, I have had many barriers that threatened to block my path to higher education. The ESA Foundation scholarship has helped me overcome those obstacles. I appreciate the ESA Foundation’s initiative to aid individuals like myself.” 

Neel Shah
Game Design & Computer Science Major, Northeastern University

“As a first generation college student, I have had many barriers that threatened to block my path to higher education. The ESA Foundation scholarship has helped me overcome those obstacles. I appreciate the ESA Foundation’s initiative to aid individuals like myself.” 

Selena Eng Animation & Digital Arts, DigiPen Institute of Technology  “The ESA Foundation scholarship means that I’ll be able to find the best education for what I want to do. I can go to one of the most prestigious, game-centric schools in the country and learn from the very best. Playing games shows me the world of other people. I interact with people all over the world, venturing into games together.” 

Selena Eng
Animation & Digital Arts, DigiPen Institute of Technology 

“The ESA Foundation scholarship means that I’ll be able to find the best education for what I want to do. I can go to one of the most prestigious, game-centric schools in the country and learn from the very best. Playing games shows me the world of other people. I interact with people all over the world, venturing into games together.” 

Liz Fiacco Graduate of Chapman University’s Animation & Game Design program and Founder of Fallstreak Studios “The scholarships I received through the ESA Foundation gave me the financial freedom to pursue a degree and helped me turn my dream of owning a video game studio into a reality.” 

Liz Fiacco
Graduate of Chapman University’s Animation & Game Design program and Founder of Fallstreak Studios

“The scholarships I received through the ESA Foundation gave me the financial freedom to pursue a degree and helped me turn my dream of owning a video game studio into a reality.”