@HazelEyes, 23 – FUNDED

Elaine Sterling, who goes by @HazelEyes, never thought she would have an interest in gaming and online broadcasting — that is, until late 2017. The BroadcastHER Grant recipient started watching her favorite streamers on Twitch quite a bit, and after playing together with some of the community members, she decided to casually do some multi-streams together with them on the weekends. And, the rest is history, as they say. She found so much happiness with her amazing new hobby and group of friends — and she looks forward to continuing this passion and improving her stream while also taking some basic tech and software classes next spring.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

I would love to inspire more women to stream and do what they love, whether it be gaming or doing creative streams. I have gained so much confidence and have made so many friends because of Twitch, and it has honestly changed my life for the better!

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

I was able to use the grant money from BroadcastHER to pay for my trip to London for EGX in September 2018. Without this grant, I would not have been able to attend and network with other streamers and potential sponsors.

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

It was the highlight of my year. I never thought that I would’ve been picked. I didn’t think that I was a good enough streamer or a good enough gamer. I received the grant right after a very low point in my life, and because of it, I have opened dozens of new doors, relationships, and friendships that I never knew were possible. It boosted my confidence so much more.

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

We just need to get out there and be wild, loving, and accepting while helping other women achieve their dreams. Without some of the women in my life I’ve met through streaming, I would have no idea as to what the heck I was doing. Everyone has a little knowledge someone else doesn’t.

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

There has been a lot of sexism and doubt from people I’ve now removed from my life. I’ve had a lot of people who don’t think I’ll become a huge streamer, and honestly, I don’t care if I do or don’t. I do this because I love it and it’s a fun pastime. However, if I ever decide that I want to work towards being partnered, I know that I can work my butt off to achieve that — regardless of what those negative people say.

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

Just do it. Honestly, just be yourself. Don’t try to be like any other streamer — you’ll be much more unique if you’re not!

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I’ve always been pretty motivated, but this year has definitely thrown some curveballs my way. I have to remind myself daily that everything I’m working for is worth the trouble and stress right now, because in the end, it will all be worth it.