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ESA Foundation awards $90K in video game scholarships

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The ESA Foundation, the philanthropic offshoot of the Entertainment Software Association, has given out its 2013-14 video game scholarships, the organization announced today.

Each of the 30 recipients, all of whom are minorities and/or women, will receive $3,000 toward a video game-related degree that they are pursuing at a four-year college or university. The individuals in question are enrolled at 25 different schools across 16 states; you can see the full list of students below. They are earning degrees in fields such as game design and development; computer science and engineering; graphic design; and visual arts.

"These exceptional students represent the future of digital entertainment," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, in a press release today. "They will bring diversity, innovation, and growth to our dynamic industry. We are proud to support their pursuit of critical 21st-century skills that will undoubtedly put them on a path toward professional success."

Here are the 30 winners of the 2013-14 ESA Foundation Scholarship:

Brandon Bell
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Institution: DePaul University
Major: Computer Games Development

Ashley Carli
Hometown: Harvard, Ill.
Institution: DePaul University
Major: Computer Games Development

Brandon Cimino
Hometown: Branford, Conn.
Institution: Becker College
Major: Interactive Entertainment Design

Tiffany Entwistle
Hometown: Northborough, Mass.
Institution: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Major: Games & Simulation Arts and Sciences

Desiree Fernandes
Hometown: Granby, Mass.
Institution: Champlain College
Major: Game Art & Animation

Michaela Ginder
Hometown: Dillsburg, Penn.
Institution: Valley Forge Christian College
Major: Digital Media Communications

Jessy Jo Gomez
Hometown: Yonkers, N.Y.
Institution: Parsons School of Design, The New School
Major: Design & Technology

Eileen Heilsnis
Hometown: Apex, N.C.
Institution: Junior Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Visual Effects

Jaylon Hines
Hometown: Gary, Ind.
Institution: Indiana State University
Major: Marketing and Public Relations

Cara Jones
Hometown: Elgin, Ill.
Institution: DePaul University
Major: Animation

Capri Kowsky
Hometown: Batavia, Ohio
Institution: Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati
Major: Media Arts & Animation

Alyson Kuch
Hometown: Parchment, Mich. 
Institution: Spring Arbor University
Major: Graphic Design and Digital Media

Michelle Lam
Hometown: Elk Grove, Calif.
Institution: California Polytechnic State University
Major: Computer Science

Warren Lindsey
Hometown: Sherwood, Ark.
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Interactive Design & Game Development

Karyn McCollough
Hometown: Woodinville, Wash.
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Game Design

Donisha Miller
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Institution: Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
Major: Computer Science

Nicole Moeckli
Hometown: Lewiston, Idaho
Institution: University of Idaho
Major: Virtual Technology & Design

Monnisa Nash
Hometown: Kihei, Hawaii
Institution: University of Washington
Major: Computer Science

Karen Navarro
Hometown: Kyle, Texas
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: Game Design and Development

Heidi Neunhoffer
Hometown: Kerrville, Texas
Institution: Laguna College of Art and Design
Major: Animation

Anna Nguyen
Hometown: Harwood Heights, Ill.
Institution: Drexel University
Major: Game Art and Production

Abigail Riffle
Hometown: Kettering, Ohio
Institution: Cedarville University
Major: Computer Engineering

Wilbert Rivera
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Institution: City College of New York - CUNY 
Major: Studio Art

Joss Schafer
Hometown: New York, N.Y. 
Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Major: Computer Science

Neel Shah
Hometown: Billerica, Mass.
Institution: Northeastern University
Major: Game Design & Computer Science

Jennifer Tran
Hometown: La Mesa, Calif.
Institution: University of California - San Diego
Major: Computer Science

Julia Tuason
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: 3D Digital Graphics

Mariko Wakabayashi
Hometown: Belmont, Calif.
Institution: University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Major: Computer Science

Maurice Westbrooks
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Institution: DePaul University
Major: Computer Games Development

Nancy Wong
Hometown: Chattanooga, Tenn.
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Digital Media Design

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