Minority youth develop community-enhancing video games

By Laura Devaney
August 28th, 2015

Entertainment Software Association, Hispanic Heritage Foundation award grants to 20 youths

games-minorityA new fellowship challenges 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 Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellowship are sponsoring the fellowship.

The Fellows will be selected for their vision, creativity and positive impact on 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 and must be completed by September 15, 2015. 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.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura