@AllyRaeven, 27 – FUNDED

The Raeven’s Nest community is inclusive, cozy and wholesome — with just the right amount of fun and chaos. And that’s exactly how @AllyRaeven created it to be. You may even see a few cameos from her rescue pets: Mr. Harper (her dog!) and Mango (her cat!). Despite a challenging chronic health condition, this full-time variety streamer and BroadcastHER Grant winner doesn’t let it get her down, channeling so much love into her content creation and sharing gaming with others.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to be a light in the darkness for others — and a reminder that a chronic illness or disability may make things more difficult, but it does not have to completely stop you from pursuing your dreams.

How will the BroadcastHER Grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?

It will help me reach my goals by allowing me to purchase an ergonomic desk to aid my posture and spinal health — and it will partially cover costs of a camera upgrade to improve the quality of my content.

What does being the recipient of the BroadcastHER Grant mean to you?

It means the absolute word to me! I am very grateful that this organization believes in me and my content and wants to see me succeed.

Women are underrepresented in gaming, broadcasting, and e-sports. What can we do to change this?

We can create more safe spaces for women in gaming communities by taking a stand against misogyny and other forms of bigotry whenever it happens. And we can continue to encourage women to pursue their interests in the gaming world despite the extra challenges faced.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

Trying to balance time and energy between work, personal life, and streaming can be quite difficult. A major challenge has been needing to take breaks due to my chronic Lyme disease, which causes severe fatigue, joint pain, and brain fog, among many other symptoms. As I’m sure others with debilitating chronic illnesses can relate, it is often very frustrating to not be able to do as much as you want to. I am trying to learn to be more kind to myself when I need to take breaks, instead of despairing over my limitations.

What advice do you have for women who want to start broadcasting?

Start now — do not feel like you have to wait until you have the “perfect” setup. If you are interested in broadcasting, go for it. Don’t be afraid to moderate your community and speak out against bigotry and toxicity because you are worried about your view count. Stand up for what is right, and the right people will stay. Take breaks when you need to; your community cares about you and doesn’t want you to get burned out. And, lastly, stream what YOU want to, so that you keep having fun with it.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I periodically assess and evaluate where I’m at and where I want to be, then make action plans for how I will get there. Discussing my goals with my moderators is also tremendously helpful; they are my biggest cheerleaders and confidants.