Two esports organisations are about to better the lives of high schoolers everywhere
As of yesterday, two huge organisations in the US are working together to improve the lives of underprivileged students everywhere. More specifically, the High School Esports League or HSEL, which is the biggest and longest-standing competitive gaming organisation for high school students just partnered with a charitable organisation.
VESF and HSEL working together
Varsity Esports Foundation or VESF is now working together with HSEL in order to create more opportunities for financial support to low-income high school areas. This new partnership has partnered with more than 2100 high schools around the country.
That works out to be some 60.000 participating high school students – not a small number. HSEL has, so far on their own, supported students with their STEM education, with their scholarships and all-around wellness. Now the two organisations get to do it together… all the while giving esports a legitimate basis and foundation at the high school level.
While colleges and universities have and have had ongoing esports scholarships and programmes until relatively recently, there was nothing to support or start this at the high school level. In fact, video games were and partly still are banned at high school, with little preparation or support for students interested in esports at all.
Support for high school students
Now, although the support doesn’t quite extend to every school in the country, it has at least taken off, and this new partnership is going to further that even more. HSEL and VESF will provide financial support to schools with the direct goal of helping students both improve their grades and get them started on certain career tracks and prospects.
Not an insignificant sum either – last year, VESF donated roughly $200.000 in grants and scholarships money. According to the calculations of Mason Mullenioux, the CEO of HSEL, it only takes about $37 per student for one esports season or about $4000 for an entire school. For next year, the goal is a lot higher – HSEL is aiming for a cool $300.000 in donations in 2020.
Both companies are actively looking for sponsors, partners, and grassroots investors in order to meet that relatively ambitious goal.
VESF on the other hand mostly provides financial support in grants and scholarships – roughly $50.000 in league fees and some $150.000 in student scholarships this year alone. Additionally, their financial support also covers the equipment that is used in esports competitions.
Read also: Why esports could be coming to your school
Competition and Varsity Points
The results from these competitions reach even further though. Students that participate in these special high school leagues can earn something called ‘Varsity Points’ by winning. They can later be redeemed towards the tuition of a college that the student picks and attends. While it’s not full scholarships, the $30.000 prize pool that participants will share between themselves can still make a lot of difference for financially struggling teens and families.
If you’re wondering how successful all of this is, you may be surprised. The average student that took part in these programs pre-partnership showed higher GPAs, better participation in class, and even different career goals and prospects, particularly with a stronger bias towards the STEM-fields. All of that is a great start. Now with this new partnership, it’s only a matter of time before even more kids get to experience the fantastic benefits that these two organisations are offering to the participating schools and students.
This will include not just more support for existing partners and affiliated schools, but also taking on even more schools than before – interest in this sort of esports-based support has certainly grown exponentially since its inception.
Who knew esports can make such a positive difference for high school kids?