For 17 years, the ESA Foundation has supported programs and opportunities that make a difference in the lives of America’s youth by harnessing the collective power of the interactive entertainment industry.  Thanks to the generous support of the public and ESA members, the Foundation provides funding for students, schools and nonprofits across the country.

Its grant program, in particular, supports a wide range of nonprofits at the intersection of youth and interactive technologies, such as civic engagement, health care, and STEAM education. To view a list of grantees—including amazing organizations like After-School All-Stars, Global Kids, and iCivics—please visit here.

The ESA Foundation further supports young adults by awarding scholarships that empower women and minority students to follow their dream of earning a video game art or science-related degree. Most recently, its signature We Are initiative has been building on the scholarship fund by championing new, underrepresented voices in the industry.

The ESA Foundation also hosts Nite to Unite, an annual industry fundraiser that goes a long way in supporting all of the Foundation’s programs and initiatives.

For more than two decades, the ESA Foundation’s annual fundraising event, Nite to Unite, has celebrated the many ways in which video games and their technology drive positive change in society and transform the lives of children and young adults

Hosting more than 600 members of the video game industry, the ESA Foundation honors visionaries making a profound difference through interactive entertainment and raises funds for scholarships supporting the next generation of game makers as well as grants for charitable organizations leveraging the power of video games.

This year, the ESA Foundation was proud to honor The Xbox Adaptive Controller Team, which created a controller for gamers with limited mobility, and The Starlight Children’s Foundation, which uses video game technology to ease the suffering of young patients during hospital stays.

These, as well as past, honorees exemplify the outstanding applications of entertainment software. We are proud to celebrate the tremendous work being done to improve our own industry and to achieve meaningful social impact.

To learn more about the evening and ways to get involved visit us at

Developing a Pipeline of Video Game Professionals

The ESA Foundation scholarships offer young people from diverse backgrounds and underserved communities the opportunity to pursue college degrees in video game arts and sciences. This school year, the ESA Foundation awarded 35 scholarships to women and minority students. This continues a now-12-year tradition of enabling college students to follow their dreams while also creating a pipeline of skilled job candidates for a growing industry.

2018-19 ESA Foundation Scholars Snapshot

  • 72% female scholars

  • 28 universities represented

To learn more about this year’s scholars, see below or visit

Isiah Rosa

Isiah, an NYU student and ESA Foundation scholarship recipient, aspires to design video games that “feel” like New York, feature minority heroes and tackle social issues. With the Foundation’s support, he also attended the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where he met his idols, including Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser, who, Isiah says, “talked to me like I was a colleague instead of a fan.”




Geneva Heyward

Geneva, a game design major at NYU, is all about “inclusivity and diversity” in the award-winning video games she creates. She’s also the recipient of an ESA Foundation scholarship, intended to help women and minorities enter the games industry. A player since the age of 3, this 19-year-old is especially focused on showcasing and giving voice to the marginalized, and she’s encouraging others to do the same.

  • About the Foundation
  • Nite to Unite
  • Scholars


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