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ESA Foundation Supports Future Leaders of the Video Game Industry

Since 2007, the ESA Foundation has awarded nearly $700,000 in scholarships to more than 230 women and minority students across the U.S. to help foster greater diversity within the video game industry’s workforce and create a pipeline of well-educated job candidates. Each year, 30 students receive $3,000 to pursue their dream of earning a video game-related college degree.

Dreams like those of Teresa Ibarra, an incoming freshman at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., who is among the recently announced 2015-2016 scholarship recipients. Ibarra, majoring in computer science, questioned whether – as a minority woman - the field of study was the right fit for her, until she received the ESA Foundation scholarship.

“A big thought that I’ve carried with me is that I don’t know that I can do this [program]. I often times think, ‘Is this the right place for me as a woman of color?’ But no matter what I think, this scholarship means that there are people out there who truly believe in me, and believe that I can do this. That means a lot.”

Click to watch a short video about Extra Life and the ESA Foundation Extra Life Challenge.

Because of your generosity, Teresa and 29 other college students will advance their studies and start along a path to professional success. To learn more about this year’s recipients, please see the full list below and visit our YouTube page to view more scholarship winner videos.

With your support, the ESA Foundation is making a positive, direct impact in the lives of today’s youth across the country through its scholarship program. Thank you for helping them turn their dreams into reality.

To learn more about the ESA Foundation scholarship or to donate, please visit

Umama Ahmed
Hometown: Atlantic City, N.J.
Institution: Rutgers University
Major: Computer Engineering
Karen Kong
Hometown: Riverside, Calif.
Institution: University of California-Riverside
Major: Computer & Information Sciences
Joel Albiter
Hometown: Tempe, Ariz.
Institution: University of Advancing Technology
Major: Game Art & Animation
Sasha Krishna
Hometown: Winter Garden, Fla.
Institution: Ringling College of Art & Design
Major: Computer Animation
Rahel Badee
Hometown: Detroit, Mich.
Institution: Savannah College of Art & Design
Major: Animation
Andrea Lin
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Computer Engineering
Liz Berberena Carvajal
Hometown: Sayreville, N.J.
Institution: Rutgers University
Major: Computer & Information Sciences
Warren Lindsey
Hometown: Sherwood, Ark.
Institution: Savannah College of Art & Design
Major: Interactive Design & Game Development
Schmika City
Hometown: Midland, Texas
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Major: Technology, Vo-Tech
Isaiah Mann
Hometown: Amherst, Mass.
Institution: Hampshire College
Major: Computer Programming
Diana Diaz
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
Madison Martin
Hometown: Santa Rosa, Calif.
Institution: Santa Clara University
Major: Computer Engineering
Nicole Fairchild
Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Stout
Major: Game Design & Development
Nicole Moeckli
Hometown: Lewiston, Idaho
Institution: University of Idaho
Major: Virtual Technology & Design
Chloe Garden
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Major: Computer Engineering
Teawnni Moya
Hometown: Los Lunas, N.M.
Institution: University of New Mexico
Major: Fine Arts
Arianna Goodman
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Institution: George Mason University
Major: Computer Game Design
Heidi Neunhoffer
Hometown: Kerrville, Texas
Institution: University of Texas at Dallas
Major: Arts & Technology
Kimberly Goodridge
Hometown: West Park, Fla.
Institution: Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale
Major: Game Art & Design
Alyssa Newsome
Hometown: Adrian, Mich.
Institution: Eastern Michigan University
Major: Simulation, Animation & Gaming
Jacqlin Ha
Hometown: Fullerton, Calif.
Institution: Art Center College of Design
Major: Graphic Design, Art
Asenith Padilla
Hometown: Carolina, P.R.
Institution: Atlantic College
Major: Digital Graphic Art Design & Animation
Mary Hauser
Hometown: Superior, Wis.
Institution: Herzing College
Major: Graphic Design, Art
Kristen Trevino
Hometown: Rowlett, Texas
Institution: Texas A & M University
Major: Visual & Performing Arts
Maria Teresa Ibarra
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
Institution: Harvey Mudd College
Major: Computer Engineering
Nguyet-Hang Troung
Hometown: Savannah, Ga.
Institution: Savannah College of Art & Design
Major: Animation
Ayanna Jacobs-EL
Hometown: Madison, Ala.
Institution: Berklee College of Music
Major: Music Performance
Julia Tuason
Hometown: W. Henrietta, N.Y.
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: Graphic Design, Art
Caitlyn Kenney
Hometown: South Burlington, Vt.
Institution: Champlain College
Major: Game Art & Animation
Adreenah Wynn
Hometown: Apalachicola, Fla.
Institution: University of Florida
Major: Graphic Design, Art