@SammySam, 27 – Funded

On @SammySam’s stream, she will tell you to expect “50% pro plays, 50% potato gameplays, and 100% chill vibes.” Kindness and positivity are her jam — and this JBL Quantum Grant winner wants to be a role model for other women in gaming to consistently showcase that the negative words used to put women down mean nothing.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

I have an ambitious goal of being a face of women in gaming. Women have been held back in the gaming industry by demeaning comments, including those that say we don’t belong in this industry, and we can’t compete above a certain level. I want to be an example of breaking that stigma and motivating other women to venture into a professional gaming career. We are strong and capable.

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

It provides live reinforcement in what I believe. Not only this, but I’ll be able to finish my PC build, as my current PC is near its end of life.

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

These last few months have been a whirlwind of emotions after losing my job and my source of income. I have not been streaming as much due to dealing with depression. Being a recipient of this grant has rejuvenated me. The fact that these organizations see me and my potential, and believe in me, gives me the motivation to get out of this depression spell and accomplish great things. With this grant, you are helping to make my dreams attainable.

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

We need to do everything we can to push women in gaming to the front. The gaming industry is dominated by men — from the faces of streaming and content creation to esports and gaming companies. Women need to continue to pressure the industry by making it known that women exist and are here to stay. As long as we continue to put in the effort, women will be taken seriously and will be provided the same opportunities as men.

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

It took me some time before I went live for the first time because the thought of presenting myself to an audience was frightening. Over time, I watched and discovered many creators that looked like me, and they ultimately inspired me to start my first stream. Streaming on Twitch has helped me develop as an individual and overcome my social anxiety.

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

As women, we must stay focused on our goals. We also need to lift each other up by supporting each other in any way we can. Women need to continue to support other women.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

I surround myself with like-minded people who have similar ambitious goals. Also, having a support system of friends is very helpful — especially when you aren’t doing well.