ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship Recipients Announced

December 2, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) today revealed the recipients of the ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship. The 20 ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellows were awarded grants for creating video games that attempt to provide solutions to specific problems in their communities.

On December 4, the Fellows will present their ideas to influencers and policymakers in Washington, DC after flying in on Southwest Airlines, the official airline of LOFT and HHF.

"At the core of the ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship is the belief that using technology for social change or career paths is essential to not only the advancement of minority communities, but America as a nation,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of HHF. "Through this creative partnership with the ESA, we are engaging youth on their terms, through video games. The link from playing a video game to developing one to computer coding, cybersecurity and other skills gap areas is evident and that’s also what we are trying to leverage through this program."

"The ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship shows how games are more than a means of entertainment, but also a valuable tool for change in our society,” said Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications and industry affairs at the ESA. “We are proud to offer this opportunity that will help create real change in minority communities through the unique platform only video games can provide."

Each of the 20 Fellows will receive a $1,000 grant to further their ideas and will be tracked by the LOFT team to sustain the impact of their effort. Joining ESA and HHF on this effort was Globaloria, Black Girls Code, BK Nation, BASE (Black Association of Scientist and Engineers), Computer Science Teacher's Association, and Gamepress.

The 2013 Video Game Innovation Fellows are:

Geraldine Agredo, 15
Game – Animal Frenzy: Identify animals in Spanish for bilingual education
Attends The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria
Hometown of Astoria, New York
 
Ashely Alicea, 23
Game – Pencils Down: See the World Through a Teacher's Eyes
Attended Ithaca College
Hometown of Dorado, Puerto Rico
 
Mia Benavidez, 17
Game – Cards for the Cause: Applications for Literacy
Attends Robert E. Lee High School
Hometown of San Antonio, Texas
 
Asia Bryant, 21
Game – Urban RGP Create Your Environment: Community Awareness
Attends Vassar College
Hometown of Newark, New Jersey
 
Marcus Cisneros, 17
Game – College-To-Do List- College Preparation
Attends Watsonville High School
Hometown of Watsonville, California
 
Terrence Dalbert, 22
Game – Top Recruit: Navigating Senior Year
Attends Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hometown of Augusta, Georgia
 
Claudia Flores, 23
Game – Any Hour is the Right Time: Community Service
Attends Santa Clara University
Hometown of San Jose, California
 
John Funtanilla, 22
Game – Founder's Quest: How to Build Your Own Non-Profit
Attends San Francisco State University
Hometown of San Francisco, California
 
Ama Koranteng, 17
Game – Transform-a-City: Addressing Ethnic Inequality
Attends New Albany High School
Hometown of New Albany, Ohio
 
Daniela Leguisamo, 15
Game – Animal Frenzy: Identify Animals in Spanish for Bilingual Education
Attends The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria
Hometown of Jackson Heights, New York
 
Nicu Listana, 20
Game – Founder's Quest: How to Build Your Own Non-Profit
Attends San Francisco State University
Hometown of San Francisco, California
 
Morelia Lopez, 17
Game – College-To-Do List- College Preparation
Attends Watsonville High School
Hometown of Watsonville, California
 
Bayonia Marshall, 20
Game – Baby Rush: Addressing Teen Pregnancy and Single Parenting
Attends Iona College
Hometown of Oxon Hill, MD
MOC: Donna Edwards (D-MD)
 
Sade Mcintosh, 22
Game – Restaurant RockStar: Food and Nutrition Education
Attends York College
Hometown of Far Rockaway, New York
 
Aaron Michael-Blackman, 22
Game – Where's the Money: Financial Literacy
Attends Howard University
Hometown of St. Louis, Missouri
 
Jesus Rios, 22
Game – JFG Haiku Hunt: Education about the Japanese Friendship Gardens in San Diego
Attends University of California, San Diego
Hometown of Calexico, California
 
Michelle Rivas-Molina, 15
Game – Animal Frenzy: Identify Animals in Spanish for Bilingual Education
Attends The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria
Hometown of Jamaica, New York
 
Demetric Sanders, 24
Game – Bar Up!: Teaching Kids to Write through Lyrics and Twitter
Attended Stanford University
Hometown of Portland, Oregon
 
Sophie Sheeline, 19
Game – Doctor Game: Learn How to Diagnose
Attends Dartmouth University
Hometown of Hillsboro, California
 
Fatima Zenine Villanueva, 22
Game – DOMUS: Life from Perspectives of a Homeless Individual
Attends Bergen Community College
Hometown of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey


 
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