RALEIGH – LearnDistrict n Wednesday announced the first recipients of its four year college scholarship fund for women and non-binary people aiming to join the games industry. LearnDistrict Inc. is the educational media company behind Girls Make Games, a renowned STEAM development program for girls and non-binary students worldwide to learn and develop the technical and artistic skills required to enter the interactive entertainment industry.
The Girls Make Games Scholarship Fund (GMGSF), established in Fall 2022, combines professional development and financial support to ensure underrepresented students have the opportunity to access STEAM programs at an early age.
The first three recipients (Nichole Lin, Allena Oglivie, Monica Paredes) of the fund will each receive a $10,000 grant ($2,500/year) for a four year time frame and be directly sponsored by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Humble Bundle, and the GMGSF community respectively. In addition, the recipients will receive industry mentorship, internship placement support and career-readiness and job placement assistance as a fund recipient.
“Giving every girl and woman the opportunity to discover their potential through game development is at the core of Girls Make Games’ mission,” said Laila Shabir, founder of Girls Make Games. “With the Fund and the support of our industry partners, we are extremely proud that our first College Scholarship recipients can now bridge the financial, knowledge and community gap that our alumni have experienced over the years.”
“At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we’re committed to improving equity and fostering a diverse workforce and we’ve worked closely with Girls Make Games to inspire young girls and women to enter STEAM fields through hosting workshops and outreach opportunities,” said Jennifer Clark, SVP Communications at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “Extending our support through the Girls Make Games Scholarship Fund is a natural step towards a diverse pipeline of women talent and we’re excited for the first recipients to accomplish great things and explore their interests in gaming.”
Kamini Tiwari, vice president of social impact and chief of staff at Humble commented, “Girls Make Games Scholarship Fund continues to pave new paths forward in increasing representation for women in the field of game development. We’re proud to be able to support their inaugural college scholarship program and help them provide young women with opportunities to build the foundational skills they need to create tomorrow’s gaming experiences.”
Details of GMGSF
The GMGSF launched in Fall 2022, provides further access and career pathway opportunities to girls, women, and non-binary students in the United States aged 8 to 24 to develop skills required to enter the gaming industry so they can access educational opportunities such as game development summer camps, workshops, and higher education degrees. The Fund will through financial and other assistance aims to provide access to STEAM opportunities to 100,000 girls, women, and non-binary students by 2026.
For more information on the College Scholarship Fund, eligibility requirements and the details of the first three recipients visit https://www.gmgsf.org/college-scholarships