Twitch streamer and internet celebrity Imane “Pokimane” Anys announced that she has partnered with UCI Esports for a brand-new scholarship, which will be awarded to one student every year “forever.”
Anys broke the news during a live broadcast on February 13, announcing that she has partnered with the University of California Irvine’s esports initiative to create a special ‘Poki’ scholarship.
The scholarship will be awarded to a student in UCI’s esports program, which Anys expressed excitement about, as it can be difficult for full-time college students to divide their priorities between studying and pursuing a career in competitive gaming.
“They are pursuing esports while getting a degree in school,” she explained. “Which, I know from experience, is so freaking hard.”
That’s not all: Pokimane also revealed that she will be sponsoring four STEM Advantage scholars for majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
“I’ve been working for so long because I wanted to figure out a way to give back to both esports — the community, which I’ve gotten a whole life out of — and, if you guys didn’t know, I also studied engineering while I was in university,” she continued. “Education is something that I genuinely care about so much.”
This statement comes as little surprise to fans, considering that her mother is an elementary school teacher, but there’s no arguing that a scholarship from such a massive personality in the gaming scene marks a massive stride for esports’ blooming status in universities, worldwide.
According to a statement from UCI, Pokimane donated a whopping $50,000 to the initiative, marking the first of such endowments to their esports program.
finally announcing something i've been working on for months ^_^
i'm sponsoring four @StemAdvantage scholars & I've created the "Pokimane Scholarship" with @UCIEsports, which will be continuously awarded every year! ????
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) February 13, 2020
The winning student will receive $2,500 annually beginning in 2022, with a report from the university clarifying that “there is no limit to how many times a student can earn the scholarship during his or her time at UCI.”
UCI’s latest initiative follows the construction of their very own esports arena, with the program itself having been founded in 2015 — the first of its kind, which has since led to similar projects in colleges across the United States.
As esports continues to grow, so too will its involvement in higher education, with Pokimane’s donation standing as the latest chapter in an ever-evolving industry.