@Squajii, 22 – FUNDED

“I’ve always dreamed of competing on a big stage in an arena for my family to see that me chasing my dream was actually worth it!” says Squajii. The BroadcastHER Academy winner is also passionate about seeing women — especially women of color — succeed in this industry, knowing that there are so many who struggle to get an opportunity.

What is your dream in esports and gaming?

My dream is to be able to unbox the never-sleeping creativity in my mind — and hopefully inspire others with my content. I’ve always wanted to show off my skills as a girl gamer and be a competitive player for a team that shared the same interests/missions as me. I hope to, one day, host my own tournaments in an arena and give back to my communities!

What does being the BroadcastHER Academy winner, which includes a $1,000 grant and all-expense-paid visit to the HyperX Esports Arena to shadow, mean to you and how will it help you reach your goals?

I am very grateful to have this. Having guidance from industry experts, being able to network, and being able to have hands-on experience and participate in an event will all help me hone my skills in hosting and broadcasting while allowing me to start my own tournament business!

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

Women already do and have done so much in all areas of gaming, broadcasting, and esports that aren’t seen. We need to continue to elevate and uplift — not just with words, but with action. There are so many companies in the industry that don’t even see us. Keep pushing. I believe we need to be seen in more more news sites, podcasts, platforms, and events inside and outside the industry. It’s just as big of a deal!

What are you most inspired by when it comes to creating encouraging content for young women in gaming, broadcasting, and esports?

I am inspired seeing women excel and break down these nasty barriers in the industry. I see women working and competing in all different areas in the industry. It’s such a positive and reassuring feeling. I would love to give back that feeling in the future from my work. I have a younger sister who is big into gaming and content creation. We also pave the way for the younger generation of women and non-men gamers, broadcasters, and players.

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

Growing up, I came from a family that didn’t have much, and I had to make a way for myself. I started working when I was young. I wasn’t taken seriously as a Black female teen. I didn’t have a support system or anyone to guide me. It’s heartbreaking to not have support or for others to think your dream is a joke. Education in broadcasting, esports, and gaming has evolved tremendously throughout the years. We have a lot of things now that I 100% could have used back in grade school — or things that came a little too late for college. But it’s never too late to go back to college, so hopefully I can!

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

Take care of you all the time! Streaming can be exhausting and can leave you feeling out of your element if you don’t create a schedule for yourself. Set boundaries! Let yourself know what is okay and what is not. It’s very important to protect your mental health inside and out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are a lot of streamers, mentors, and orgs that can help guide you, as well! Last but not least, DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE YOU.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

Knowing that I can be a part of change — or be the driving force — is a big deal to me. I have all these ideas that are just waiting to come out of the box, so I always think “how can I make a positive impact.” My little sister is also a big push, as I want her to have the things I didn’t so she can succeed in her gaming/esports/broadcasting career!