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@drexel_gaming, 19 – FUNDED

Alexis is a full-time engineering student at Drexel University, where she has also stood strong in the face of discrimination and put in a lot of hard work and determination to become the first female president of the Drexel Gaming Association, which is a huge achievement! Learn more about this JBL Quantum Grant winner’s path to presidency and more below — and check her out on Twitch at @drexel_gaming.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

A dream I have is to make the Drexel Gaming Association a bustling center for gaming culture, inclusivity, and diversity. My ultimate dream is to join my university’s esports teams and be one of their best players.

How will this award from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? 

I have been upgrading a five-year-old gaming laptop myself with whatever parts I could get for free from my friends and family. I would like to own a desktop gaming PC and a microphone to participate in shot-calling during games — and this grant will greatly help me with this.

What does being a 1,000 Dreams Fund – JBL Quantum Grant recipient mean to you? 

I started out wanting to make a difference in gaming, and now I am convinced that I am. I will continue to make the Drexel Gaming Association a bustling center for gaming culture, inclusivity, and diversity. And I will take on more projects in the future to continue my goal.

Women are underrepresented in gaming and esports. What can we do to change this? 

When I first started, I felt like I was one of the only women playing video games. But as I joined more gaming communities and esports organizations, I realized that this was not the case. I met a lot of female gamers and they became great mentors and friends. I think that highlighting women in gaming and esports — and celebrating opportunities like those from 1,000 Dreams Fund — will make more women know they are an important part of the gaming community.

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

I am currently the first female president of the Drexel Gaming Association, Drexel University’s gaming organization which has more than 800 members. When I first joined the organization, I faced a lot of discrimination because I was female. Members would make fun of my appearance and my expertise in games, even though their opinions were unfounded. But I decided that I wouldn’t let the discrimination stop me from participating. I went to the former administrators and made them aware of the discrimination I was facing. Perseverance eventually led me to win over people who once discriminated against me.

What advice do you have for women who want to work in the gaming or esports industry? 

There is a lot of sexism in gaming culture, but change starts with you. Perseverance. Hard work. Determination. These are all so important.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

I make sure I am taking care of myself because, if I’m not, I lose my motivation. This includes seeing my therapist and taking a break from my work or studies to focus on staying healthy. Mental health is not talked about enough. Seeing a therapist or taking a break is nothing to be ashamed of. If more people talked about mental health, I think that people would understand its importance and more people could achieve their goals.