A nonprofit called Cxmmunity joined its Career Readiness Program with Minnesota-based esports organization Version1 to support Historically Black College and University minority students who desire to study esports. This aid includes a scholarship, mentorship program and internship opportunities. The organization’s teams include Minnesota Røkkr in the Call of Duty League, Version1 in VALORANT and Version1 in Rocket League.
Version1 is committing $25,000 to develop a scholarship program that will increase the representation of minorities in esports and gaming, according to the announcement. The goal is to support the next generation of talent while making the industry accessible to everyone.
Students attending a HBCU institution during the 2021-22 academic year are eligible for one of four academic scholarships of $5,000. The eligible subjects include sales and marketing, content creation, operations, information technology and design.
To apply, candidates must either illustrate their passion for gaming or explain how their education contributes to a career in esports or gaming. Applications are open from Aug. 17 through Sept. 30. The recipients of the scholarships will be informed in October of 2021.
The additional $5,000 is allocated as prize money for an upcoming Call of Duty tournament. Those competing in Cxmmunity’s HBCU Esports League will be eligible for this. More information about this tournament will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the press release.
Building the future of esports
“Cxmmunity is doing incredible work in support of HBCU Esports and empowering underrepresented students, and we are honored to build these programs together,” Brett Diamond, Chief Operating Officer at Version1, said.
Diamond added that the partnership was developed through the lens of tangible skills and experience that are sought out in entry level positions. Providing students with experience and mentorship would allow them to stand out in a pool of applicants.
Ryan Johnson, the Founder and Executive Director of Cxmmunity, aims for the organization to not only support minority and HBCU gaming initiatives but also bolster the overall program as well.
“When we first started our discussions with Version1, we knew immediately that we were going to build something special together,” Johnson said. “We are all dedicated to executing a robust program that will be meaningful, memorable and sustainable for these students.”
“Ryan Johnson and Cxmmunity have shown to be leaders in moving the dial on inclusivity in gaming, and these programs are continued progress in building an industry that is accessible to and safe for all,” Diamond said.
As for individuals interested in entry level positions and full-time intern roles, Version1 is recruiting those who are familiar with esports and gaming. Cxmmuity will share these opportunities with HBCU students.
Additionally, students who complete various programs will receive Version1 and Minnesota Røkkr swag. They will also have a chance to network with Version1’s professional players and content creators, as well as staff members and leaders.
About the Author
Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!