For the second year, HHF has partnered with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) to launch the Annual Video Game Innovation Fellowship. Participants have to submit an idea, video game, or mobile application that gives a solution to a current social issue. The selected fellows will receive a $1000, in addition to being brought to Washington D.C. to speak with Congressional Members at the White House.
HISPANIC HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND ESA AGAIN CHALLENGE MINORITIES TO DEVELOP VIDEO GAMES AND PHONE APPS TO ADDRESS SOCIAL ISSUES AND OPEN GATEWAY TO STEM CAREERS
Last Year, 20 Youth (15-25 Years Old) Presented Ideas to White House, Congress and Policy Makers in DC and Received Innovation Grants
WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) will once again host the LOFT Video Game Innovation Challenge and Fellowship for minority youth across the country ages 15-25. Last year, 20 youth were selected, provided with Innovation Grants, and flown to Washington, DC from across the country to present their ideas to members of Congress, The White House, and community leaders. Candidates can apply now to www.LOFTinnovation.org for the chance to be one of the 2014 Fellows who are selected for their vision, creativity, and potential impact of the game on their community and receive Innovation Grants to further their vision.
“Through this creative partnership with the ESA, we are engaging youth on their terms, through video games and phone apps to make a social impact,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “We also 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 trying to fill. It’s important minority youth are encouraged to create not just consume.” Visit http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/money/2013/11/07/video-games-and-latino-kids-can-change-world/ for a TV interview with FOX about the program from last year.
The video games and phone apps last year ranged from dealing with Cerebral Palsy to healthy lifestyles to teen pregnancy to college prep to experiencing homelessness to financial literacy to even teaching literacy through rap lyrics on Twitter.
“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.”
Joining ESA and HHF on the effort was Globaloria, Black Girls Code, BK Nation, BASE (Black Association of Scientist and Engineers, Computer Science Teacher’s Association), Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Association, National Urban League, NRCCUA, and Gamepress, among others. HHF is also hosting free computer coding camps across the country and innovation symposia to encourage minority youth to fill America’s skills gap. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of LOFT.
The deadline to apply is August 15, 2014. The application can be found here: goo.gl/kXq89z
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, please visit www.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs.
About Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Leaders on Fast Track (LOFT)
LOFT is HHF’s award-winning, leadership and workforce development program focused on America’s “priority fields” including STEM and innovation. Tens of thousands of students and young professionals are connected to each other; prepared through trainings, priority-field-tailored symposia, workshops, and Charlas; and hundreds are placed into internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions with Fortune 100 companies and government agencies. Visit www.LOFTinnovation.org. Join and follow LOFT on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/hhfloft/ and Twitter – @LOFTInstitute.
HHF was established by the White House in 1987 and believes that through innovation across all fields that Latinos are the leaders of today, not tomorrow. HHF also promotes Latino cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org. Join and follow HHF on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hispanicheritage and Twitter @HHFoundation.