@soul696destroyer, 22 – FUNDED

Her name is Jewel, but she goes by Soul — @soul696destroyer on Twitch — and she’ll tell you that she’s a dungeon-loving, crafty, amateur gamer in college who is just doing her best to keep her Sims and fake plants alive. If that doesn’t sound intriguing enough, she also calls her stream a rabbit hole of odd adventures. But, this BroadcastHER Grant winner is also focused on the serious business of giving back to various causes like children’s hospitals and using her platform to uplift others.

What is your dream as a digital broadcaster?

I want to make broadcasting a full-time job and connect with other woman who are interested in gaming and/or art. I also want to bring confidence to young women who aspire to be content creators, broadcast, or pursue something in the fields of art or science.

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

I will be able to obtain tools to help make streaming possible, including computer parts and a microphone so that I can interact with viewers and stream with ease.

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

It truly means a lot. I’ve never had an opportunity like this or even the support to really go out and chase my dreams. As a woman in tech, I find it even more challenging because I am in a male-dominated field. So, I feel that I really have to prove myself. With 1DF, I have been able to surround myself with others who are supportive because we are all striving for a similar goal.

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

We have to just go out and do it; we have to really put ourselves out there and be ourselves. I joined my university’s e-sports team and I got really lucky to have a president who valued my skills and asked me to take the position of vice president for the organization. I think if more women are able to share stories like this, it may encourage others to try, too.

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

My self-esteem drops a lot when I talk about video games because I don’t like the cliché ‘gamer girl’ label. Sometimes my male friends aren’t always kind enough to listen because they say I don’t know what I’m talking about. So, I don’t really have someone to talk to about gaming because I don’t want to be looked down on just because I’m a woman. It also doesn’t help that I’m in a sorority; those stereotypes can be not so kind either. One thing I am proud of, despite these challenges, is that I am living proof that the stereotypes — for both sororities and gamers — are not all true!

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

Girl, just do it! Really. It’s super-scary, I know, but if it’s something you want, you have to take a leap and trust that if you are your genuine and beautiful self, things will work out. Everyone starts out small. You have to work on the things you’re kind of bad at, too, so that you can become better. The more energy you put into it, the more you’ll get out in the end. Just remember, it won’t happen overnight!

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I keep a giant Passion Planner with me at all times. I decorate it with my to-do lists and my achievements. I do monthly check-ins to see if I am making progress towards my goals and what my next steps are. It’s really a lifesaver to have!