At Hero Nation , we believe video games can change young lives —especially Black and brown youth.
They can be used as a tool to develop future leaders, educate, and empower while serving as a bridge between social and cultural barriers through the formation of gaming communities. However, many gaming spaces aren't accessible or safe for marginalized communities, including people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.
This has inspired us to take action and create an initiative that centers disenfranchised young gamers through the development of a program called GAMING WARRIRORS.
ABOUT HERO NATION
Hero Nation is an organization in Ypsilanti, Michigan with the mission to help everyone discover the hero within through events and programs based in nerd culture that foster empowering, creative, and educational experiences for underrepresented and marginalized — including youth, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, women, and people with low socioeconomic status.
ABOUT GAMING WARRIORS
Gaming Warriors is an eSports video game scholarship program in Ypsilanti, Michigan, created by Hero Nation, with the mission to build an inclusive community of young gamers at the Ypsilanti Community High School through competitive leagues that cultivate educational and empowering experiences.
We aspire to a create a diverse community of young gamers in the Ypsilanti community through intercommunal school tournaments, legitimize eSports in secondary education, and help fund the education of socioeconomically disenfranchised youth through competitive scholarship programs.
During this 16-day program, we’ll help students develop valuable social-emotional skills such as leadership, mindfulness, empathy, and healthy sportspersonship, so they can grow into better people and better competitive gamers. We'll also teach them how to master DragonBall Fighter Z — a fighting game that features popular anime characters— through character analyses, defensive training, offensive training, and frame knowledge.
• Create a space where mental health is prioritized and nurtured
• Create a safe, inclusive and diverse gaming environment
• Create a space where students have agency
• Ensure that the experience is accessible for new gamers
WHAT ARE eSPORTS?
eSports are a form of competition using video games. (Source )
Students who meet course requirements will be eligible to compete for a scholarship in a gaming tournament at the end of the program.
WHAT WE NEED
Here's what your contributions will be used for.*
• $2800 - Eight Vanguard Black Editions*
• $1700 - Scholarship fund and set-up fee
• $1500 - Five PlayStation 4 1TB Systems*
UPDATE: Since launching our campaign, Amazon has reduced the price of the Vanguards by $50. While we continue to search for more cost-effective solutions, all additional funds will be allocated to the items listed below.
Our intended impact is that students will end our course being better equipped to exercise health mental health practices, navigate inclusive spaces, become better leaders, and competitive players.
We also hope our scholarship fund will help the advance the education of its recipient.
We'll be partnering with Eastern Michigan University 21st Century Community Learning Centers' Bright Futures program.
Bright Futures is a cohort of high-quality afterschool programs in 15 school sites across two school districts, Wayne-Westland, and Ypsilanti Community Schools.
The focus of Bright Futures is to improve academic achievement, develop self-efficacy, and prepare elementary, middle, and high school students to transition to the next level of schooling
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
• Classes must be limited to once per week
• Each session will be 1 hour long
• The course must work with Bright Futures' 8-week per season structure which begins in the fall and the second season end in the spring of 2019.
Additional funds will be allocated toward our other events and programs:
• Reaching Champions - our comic book youth literacy program
• Hero Nation Con 2019 - our 2nd comic-con for next year
• Program supplies and prizes for participants
OUR SUCCESSFUL CROWDFUNDED PROJECTS
Thanks to your support, we've had great success in the past with our other crowdfunded projects for our free community events:
Photography by Doug Coombe
Black Panther Event
• Total raised = $10,550
• Took over 100 students to a free screening of Marvel's BlackPanther
• Gifted free Black Panther merchandise, Black comic literature, and food.
• Featured special guest performances by two African drum and dance groups.
Photography by Nick Azzaro
Hero Nation Con 2017
• Total raised= $4,015
• Free admission
• The event had 150+ attendees
• Gave away donated items such as toys, comic books, and food.
Other Ways You Can Help
Can't donate? That's OK. Here are other ways you can help:
• Share and spread the word about the campaign on your social media.
• Follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram .
• Tell us what you think about Gaming Warriors and Hero Nation.
Check out our site as www.heronationypsi.com.
Thank you for your support.
- Andrew Groen
- Ronee DeLaCruz
- Brianna Barr
- Ash Menon
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