@JadeValkyri3, 21 – FUNDED

Deja K. — @JadeValkyri3 on Twitch — is one of our BroadcastHER Academy winners, and this full-time college student, cosplayer, and content creator dreams of working in the gaming industry as a creator, host, and/or social media manager. She also likes dad jokes and memes — and her aesthetic is sometimes pastel and sometimes all black. Just like her colorful personality! Her current favorite game is Dragon Age: Origins.

What is your dream in esports and gaming?

I want to be a successful esports host and content creator. I love entertaining people and sharing stories. To make that my full time career would be remarkable! I love to help people tell their stories — and being a host would be a perfect career to do so.

What does being the BroadcastHER Academy winner, which includes a $1,000 grant and all-expense-paid visit to the HyperX Esports Arena to shadow, mean to you and how will it help you reach your goals?

Most of the esports and gaming industry is filled with amazing, passionate people but I rarely have the opportunity to meet them in person and network. The trip is a great opportunity to do so. Being a creative is hard, money-wise — especially as a college student, too. I don’t get the chance to upgrade my equipment, ever! And, I see this grant as an investment to help me further my career.

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

I think the best possible strategy is to help those who are interested get the resources they need and support those already in the industry. It’s not lack of interest but lack of support and guidance.

What are you most inspired by when it comes to creating encouraging content for young women in gaming, broadcasting, and esports?

I love watching other female broadcasters and professional gamers! It lets me know that what I’m doing isn’t impossible since there is proof. Someone is doing it, so I definitely can too.

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

It’s definitely an extra hurdle being a black woman and trying to get into gaming due to added racism on top of sexism. Lots of people still believe that black women don’t play games, so I feel as though I have to work harder to prove myself in the industry. As on-camera talent, the presence of black women is almost nonexistent besides Mica Burton last year in OWL. It’s also difficult since I don’t have many connections in esports either. It will be difficult getting a first job so I must create my own content to prove my skills to show in a reel.

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

Just do it. I’m a perfectionist at times and it brings me a lot of anxiety. It would’ve been easier starting out if I just didn’t overthink what I was doing. Nothing will be perfect right off the bat, so don’t let that stop you!

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I follow my idols on social media! Seeing what they are doing just makes me think “wow! I wanna do that, too.” That keeps me motivated.