Kayla Rodgers, 26 – FUNDED

When it comes to her future career goals, Kayla Rodgers is passionate about following a path that prioritizes creativity, challenge, growth, and innovation in the gaming and streaming industry. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Information Technology with a focus in Web Design & Development at Arizona State University. “I am so grateful to have the chance to be the New Face of Tech! Having this opportunity will give me the education and confidence I need to create meaningful change in the gaming and streaming industry,” says this New Face of Tech.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

Being the New Face of Tech means continuing to challenge and push myself further to live up to that name. I want to create meaningful and positive changes for female-identifying members of the gaming and streaming community and create an inclusive environment for all involved. Being the New Face of Tech means having the resources, support, and confidence to do just that.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

I honestly feel one of the first steps is an opportunity like this one. As it has for me, it provides women with the confidence that they can push further, have access to more resources and education, and in turn be in higher positions that can create change in STEM careers.

Programs like this that highlight and publicize the successes of women in STEM also can motivate future generations; representation truly matters.

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

Burnout has been one of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced. For a lot of my time in school and in streaming, I’ve spent hours just doing research before even creating something. By the time I get to coding or streaming or whatever the task may be, I have little energy to commit. While resources are far more accessible now than they were years ago due to the internet, a lot of guides are still written as though you already have a baseline understanding which leads to more digging.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I keep everything that I need — schedule-wise — on my phone, since I almost always have that on me. I also try to keep anything I am currently working on nearby — whether it be on my desk or on my person.

I regularly watch other creators to stay inspired and motivated and I try to keep engaged through solo projects and research of interesting topics. Motivation can be hard, but staying well-informed and involved with gaming, streaming, and the companies I would like to work with helps with fine-tuning my goals and pushing myself further.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

Having this opportunity will allow me to expand my education beyond the classroom and bring more knowledge and experience into my career. Being able to communicate with professionals in the industry through 1DF and Harman also gives me priceless insight and perspectives I may not have otherwise received.