( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Erin Ashley Simon Internship Fund Expands In Its Second Year with Contribution from XSET
ENSPIRE Contributor: Ava Girardi
XSET, the world’s fastest-growing gaming and lifestyle organization, and its co-owner, Erin Ashley Simon, announced today the expansion of the Erin Ashley Simon Esports Internship Fund at the University of Kentucky, designed for students interested in a career in gaming and esports. The fund has grown to $5,000 with XSET and Simon focused on developing the fund in the coming years by attracting support from other companies and influencers.
The Erin Ashley Simon Esports Internship Fund includes a multi-year internship, which offers extensive mentorship and experiential learning opportunities that engage and educate students on the complex gaming and esports ecosystem. The initiative seeks to make the pathway to experience and learn about working in gaming possible for students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to take that type of college courses.
“I want more aspiring professionals who want to get into this industry to have all the tools and resources they need to make that happen,” Erin Ashley Simon said, co-owner of XSET. “There are a lot of industries out there who are curious about gaming, but I’m encouraging all of them to stop eyeing and get involved with the fund. This is the perfect opportunity for non-endemic companies to see and understand the growth of this industry and the people who make it move.”
Greg Selkoe, the co-founder and CEO of XSET also described the mission of XSET on supporting inclusion and how owner, Erin Ashley Simon is passionate about giving back to the community.
“Alongside Erin, we’ve always been adamant supporters for diversity and inclusion in our space,” Greg Selkoe said. “If you don’t know Erin, she is a rock star in our industry and knows the importance of giving back to the community. We are absolutely committed to helping her achieve this goal and turning up the volume for others to join our cause.”
Simon is a multimedia personality, host, producer and consultant within esports, gaming and entertainment and works tirelessly behind the scenes in the industry to provide more opportunities for those in underserved, underrepresented and marginalized communities. Her love and passion for these areas has helped to shape who she is today, pushing the culture forward, and breaking barriers as an Afro-Latina female in the industry. As co-owner of one of the fastest growing gaming and lifestyle organizations currently, she is helping to shape the culture of the organization to ensure the company has content and deep-rooted connections in music, entertainment, diversity and the gaming industry.
Simon has been tapped by well-known brands and organizations such as AT&T, Riot Games, Bleacher Report, TBS, EA Sports, General Motors, Google Play, Tampax, Columbia Records, PUMA, Turtle Beach, Bacardi, Crown Royal, Forbes, Gen.G, Evil Geniuses, Cloud 9, The Wall Street Journal, University of Kentucky, Bleacher Report and more. Simon was the first individual female public figure to be the face of PUMA’s new esports line. As Simon’s career moves forward, she looks to continue to build the intersection between gaming and culture, paving a path forward for future generations.
Heath Price, the associate chief information officer for the University of Kentucky described how proud they are for one of their alumni to start this program for students to set a successful career path.
“We’re so proud of the fact that one of our very own alumni is a key figurehead in esports,” Price said. “She’s played a pivotal role in developing our program and provided a roadmap for students who never would have thought of a career in this space. We aim to make sure this fund continues to help our ever growing esports program and be a resource for hopeful gaming professionals for years to come.”
Applications are now open for the 2022-23 academic year here through August 22, 2022. The recipient will be selected this fall.
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