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@maria_kat, 19 – FUNDED

Maria Rodriguez — you can call her @maria_kat — is from Texas and she likes Shiba Inu dogs, chicken nuggets, and the Legend of Zelda series — in addition to streaming, of course. You’ll probably find this BroadcastHER Grant recipient playing one of the following: Fallout 4, Super Mario 64, Sims 4, Subnautica, House Flipper, or Stardew Valley.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

My dream is to continue to grow my amazing community.

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

Using this grant will help me network outside of just the digital world. I plan to use the funding to go to TwitchCon this year to meet other small streamers just like me — and hopefully make new friends as well as meet and expand my audience.

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

I’m still a small streamer, so receiving this grant meant a lot. The 1DF team doesn’t just look for numbers but for quality, too.

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

Exclusively female events would help — whether they are female-only Twitch front page events or e-sports tournaments.

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

The main challenges I come across are all related to sexism and being a female in the streaming world. Body-shaming has also been a part of this.

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

I would say to always be open to feedback and suggestions. Most importantly, don’t get too stressed out when trolls heckle you in chat; they only want attention and to get a reaction from you. Simply ban them and move on.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

Having a support system really helps. My significant other, my moderators, and my viewers are always cheering me on from the sidelines whether it be through chat or off stream.

Watch @Maria_Kat’s BroadcastHER Introduction from 1000dreamsfund on www.twitch.tv