LOFT ESA Video Game Fellowship Opens!

Alberto Avalos

Innovation and Technology Program Manager

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2016

Minority Youths Develop Community-Enhancing Video Games 

Entertainment Software Association, Hispanic Heritage Foundation award grants to 20 youths who will present their video game concepts at the U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C. –The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellowship announced an opportunity challenging minority youths to develop video games addressing social issues impacting their communities. Twenty Fellows, ages 15-25, will receive grants to continue development of their projects and fly to Washington, D.C. this October and present their ideas to the White House and national community leaders.

The Fellows will be selected for their vision, creativity and positive impact within their community. Previous ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship winners used games to shed a light on a variety of subjects such as safe dieting techniques, teaching literacy through music, using racing-mechanics to complete algebra problems, and promoting STEM career paths for women.

Applications are accessible online at www.loftcsl.org and must be completed by September 15, 2016. Selected Fellows will connect with previous Fellowship participants through the award-winning LOFT Network to help complete their games.

“Through this creative partnership with the ESA, we are engaging youth on their terms, through video games and phone apps to make a positive social impact,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of HHF. “We believe there is a link from playing a video game to developing a game to computer coding, cybersecurity and other workforce skills gap areas America is desperately trying to fill. It is important minority youth are encouraged to create.”

“The ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship continues to show how games are more than a means of entertainment, but also a tool for progress 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 foster real change in minority communities through the unique platforms video games provide.”

About ESA

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3 and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit www.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “Tracks,” or fields including Innovation & Technology, Science, Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Media & Entertainment and Latinas. HHF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has offices in Los Angeles, Calif.., Miami, Fla., New York, N.Y., and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University.

Follow us on Twitter @LOFTInstitute and find us LOFT on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hhfloft/.