@KaylaaJay2, 21 – Funded

“In today’s society, we’re told to only do things that make us money no matter if we enjoy that job or not. I want to change that stigma and encourage people — especially women — to follow their dreams no matter how far they seem to be,” says variety streamer @KaylaaJay2. This JBL Quantum Grant first started dreaming of streaming in 2008, when she was watching YouTubers like Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, cinnamontoastken, and more. “It has always been my dream to have a job or career that’s something I actually love to do while also representing my culture and showing that women can be successful in content creation, too.”

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

My dream is to show that Black women can make it on any streaming services without any handouts or excuses. I want to make a name for myself and do what I love for a job and enjoy life.

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

It will allow me to purchase items to help with streaming and recording, so that I can produce content for the wonderful community I’m trying to put together for everyone of different races, backgrounds, genders, etc. to enjoy.

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

It means the world to me, because it shows the start of an incredible journey for me. When I applied for this grant, I never thought that I could be one among the other beautiful women chosen for this opportunity. When I first saw the application on Twitter, I almost didn’t apply because I thought there would never be a chance I would be chosen. But I gained the courage to apply, regardless.

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

We can host more tournaments that represent uplifting and promoting women in gaming, content creation, esports, and streaming. We could find companies that are willing to do partnerships with women to help them on their journeys (instead of affiliate codes) and help women get attention from gaming companies such as EA, Blizzard, Infinity Ward, and more.

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

Some challenges I have faced along the way are: balancing college/streaming, gender stereotypes, race biases, and financial obligations.

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

Know your self-worth. There will be some viewers, companies, fellow content creators, and others who will try to make you feel like you will never get anywhere in this field. They will tell you to be a adult and get a real job to make money. I say do what you love. Follow your dreams to the best of your ability and NEVER GIVE UP. You will face challenges along the way, but you will overcome those and get even stronger. Women deserve to be in this space — no matter what gender, race, or sexuality you are.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

Truthfully, being a junior in college makes it very hard to stay motivated. I usually have loads of work to get done during the week along with trying to stream consistently. But I always keep in mind that streaming actually helps me de-stress after a long school day. It helps me relax — and getting to talk to people is always fun.

The idea of growth helps me stay motivated, as well.