Press Releases

HHF and the ESA Announce 2015 LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellows

Twenty minority youth travel to Washington, D.C., to present to White House, Congress and influencers while receiving grants for developing original games and apps to address social issues

October 19, 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) selected 20 minority youth (ages 15-25) as ESA LOFT (Leaders on the Fast Track) Video Game Innovation Fellows.  The Fellows were chosen for the original video games and apps they developed to address social issues in their communities and will be flown in to Washington, D.C., to present their ideas to the White House, U.S. Congress, and national community leaders on Thursday, October 22nd.

“Through this creative partnership with the ESA, we are engaging youth on their terms through video games and 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 also important minority youth are encouraged to be content creators, not just consumers.”

The agenda for the 2015 LOFT Video Game Innovation fellows includes:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

  • 9:00 a.m. Fellows’ video game and app presentation at The Raben Group- 5th Floor, 1341 G St NW (open to press)
  • 11:00 a.m. Congressional Briefing at Capitol Visitors Center, Room HVC-215 (open to press, credentials required)
  • 3:00 p.m. White House Briefing (closed to press)

“The ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship underscores the fact that games are a valuable tool for positive change in our society,” said Rich Taylor, Senior Vice President of Communications and Industry Affairs at the ESA. “We are proud to offer an opportunity that will help foster and promote creative thinking and innovation in minority communities, and cultivate future innovators of our industry, through the unique platform only video games can provide.”

To see the Fellows’ games, visit www.LOFTinnovation.org. To follow the activities on social media, follow #LOFTFellows.

About the Entertainment Software Association

The 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 the Latinos on the Fast Track Program

LOFT is HHF’s award-winning, leadership, and workforce development program focused on America’s priority fields including STEM, entrepreneurship, education, 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 500 companies and government agencies.  Join and follow LOFT on Twitter – @LOFTInstitute and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/hhfloft/.  Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org for info on HHF.

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2015 ESA VIDEO GAME INNOVATION FELLOWS

Aleida Olvera

Female, 17

Brownsville, TX 78526

SmartGuard: An Emergency Alert System

 

Alisha Ukani

Female, 17

Weston, MA 02493

Proton: Addressing Self-Esteem

 

Alyssa Edmund

Female, 17

Astoria, NY 11105

Your Personal Friend: Online Support System

 

Ana Nico-Silva

Female, 19

Watsonville, CA 95076

Youth Empowerment Institute: Food Justice Quiz

 

Andrew Gayle

Male, 15

Mirmar, FL 33025

The Trash Eliminator: World Pollution 

 

Ashley Miller

Female, 21

Chicago, IL 60625

Phantom Limb: Sexual Assault

 

Christopher Carbajal

Male, 20

Burbank, CA  94558

DollarDreams: App Store for Non-Profits

Gerardo Leon

Male, 17

Houston, TX 77036

Learn Realm: Study and Test Preparation

 

Giselle Martinez

Female, 17

Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Reflecxio: Increase Productivity

 

Jabari Voss

Male, 16

New York, NY 11221

The Real Politician: Understanding Fundamentals of Politics

 

Jacky Jimenez

Female, 15

Astoria, NY 11102

Finding Your Future: College and Job Opportunities

 

Jenny Xu

Female, 16

Cambridge, MA 02139

Hungry Trash: Protecting the Environment

 

Juan Torres

Male, 16

San Francisco, CA 94110

Uncover Police Brutality: Police Brutality

 

Margot Richaud

Female, 17

Long Island City, NY 11106

Space Cleaners: Space Debris Awareness

 

Naomi Hareid

Female, 18

Marana, AZ 85653

Surgery: Strategic Moves

 

Nicholas Romero

Male, 21

Chapel Hill, NC 02048

HightStep: Healthier Lifestyle

 

Nicodemus Madehdou

Male, 19

Philadelphia, PA 19136

Turbo Finger Swipe: Early Childhood Education

 

Noelle Vela

Female, 21

Lubbock, TX 79415

Raza: Increasing Hispanic Political Engagement

 

Omar Lopez

Male, 23

Oxnard, CA 93030

Project Echoes: Choices and Consequences

 

William Emanuel

Male, 17

Napa, CA 94558

Neighborhood Water Watch: Water Conservation

 

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