A few months before the planned opening of its new studio in Creative Village in downtown Orlando, Electronic Arts has already begun to deliver on its promise to establish cradle-to-career paths for underrepresented talent with the launch an endowed scholarship at the University of Central Florida. .
One of many initiatives in a multi-faceted strategy to empower students from diverse backgrounds to explore successful careers in art and technology, the EA Inclusion Scholarship in Gaming Endowed – established with an initial investment of $ 100,000 and a commitment to continue growing the fund with future investments – will encourage the pursuit of careers in the video game industry for student interactive entertainment programs and games at UCF.
“The ‘Inclusion in Gaming’ scholarship builds on the excellent relationship we have with UCF and increases access to opportunities for future electronic artists from diverse backgrounds,” said Daryl Holt, Vice President and Director general, EA Tiburon (Orlando), EA SPORTS Austin and EA SPORTS Madrid. “As we enter the Creative Village and our partnerships evolve, we hope to spark a collective effort from the Orlando community to educate and prepare underrepresented youth for success in STEAM fields. “
As evidenced by its recent recognition among the recipients of the 2021 Orlando Business Journal Diversity in Business Awards, the Inclusion in Gaming Endowed Scholarship is one of many measured steps EA has taken to make a difference in its studio. Orlando, EA Tiburon, and in the community. Shared with the City of Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency in January, its Community Action Plan – Orlando outlines outreach strategies, planned programs, and potential opportunities and partnerships to support and benefit the youth of the Parramore neighborhood. . In fact, in partnership with City of Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill, EA has also begun equipping local community centers with new electronics and game consoles. With these actions, EA aims to: generate interest in video games and interactive entertainment; educate students on how to fundamentally achieve their dreams through STEAM education; bridging the gaps by creating equitable opportunities for diverse groups to engage; and investing time and financial resources in opportunities that empower students through education.
Available from fall 2022, two Inclusion in Gaming Awards will be given out each year to students at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at UCF College of Sciences who demonstrate how they have overcome adversity or strive to include others. Undergraduate scholarship applicants are expected to major in digital and interactive media / games as part of the interactive games and media program. Preference for the undergraduate award will be given to graduates of Jones High School, Evans High School and Oak Ridge
High School – Title I schools with the highest poverty percentages in Orange County. Applicants for graduate scholarships should seek a degree at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA).
“Close industry partnerships like the one we have had with EA for many years are essential to the success of our students,” said Ben Noel, Executive Director of FIEA and Director of Innovation and Partnerships at UCF Nicholson School of Communication & Media. “We share EA’s commitment to developing diverse and inclusive game makers, and this generous donation will allow us to support under-represented students in perpetuity. “
EA Tiburon already employs many FIEA graduates in its game development teams. As more and more under-represented applicants have the resources to join the program, EA hopes to benefit from a highly skilled workforce from diverse backgrounds, representative of its 450 million registered players worldwide.
To learn more about EA’s global commitment to inclusion and diversity, click here.