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1,000 Dreams Fund Impact Story: New Face of Tech Winner Heads To MomoCon with 1DF

1,000 Dreams Fund loves to partner with other organizations to develop “HireHER” opportunities for our beneficiaries that provide access to special events and hands-on training that can lead to employment. 

We have been long-time collaborators with gaming nonprofit LANFest, which recently reached out with a volunteer opportunity for our women to attend MomoCon 2024, a conference for fans of anime, gaming and more in Atlanta, Georgia. 

A chance for our women to build their skills in live-gaming and esports? Of course, we said yes!

And no surprise, we had a lot of interest with several 1DF beneficiaries stepping forward to volunteer at the event, including 2023 New Face of Tech winner Erika Bowen. Bowen is currently a Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student at University of Georgia. Not only did she get the opportunity to attend MomoCon for free and train on-site, Erika was able to give back by volunteering at this event that also supported Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Volunteering at MomoCon with the LANFest team was an unforgettable experience,” says Erika. “The energy, the camaraderie, and the joy of helping create a fantastic event for fellow gaming enthusiasts all while redirecting funds to support Make-a-Wish made it truly special.”

Erika also told us how volunteering at MomoCon provided her with valuable skills and training that could translate to many future careers, including her biomedical engineering research pursuits. “Understanding safety, ethical conduct, and risk management at the convention are likewise essential points for safe and responsible research,” Erika said. From enhancing problem-solving and communication skills, to maintaining professionalism in diverse settings and more, the event was an incredible way to engage in continuous learning. “These skills and more collectively contribute to becoming a more competent and respected biomedical engineering researcher,” she added.

Erika volunteered for two of the four days of MomoCon, where she clocked 16 total hours of time working in the LANFest BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) area. This is a unique zone where attendees can purchase a seat and bring or rent a computer to participate in gaming tournaments — or just relax and take a break from the convention.

“I enjoyed my downtime by playing games with the volunteers in the BYOC, walking around the con, and eating from the many vendors and volunteer rest area, which had unlimited food, drinks, massages (yes, that’s right!), and MomoCon merch,” says Erika. “This was such an easy position and made even easier by the other kind volunteers working BYOC with me.” 

Thanks Erika for sharing your story with us!