Emerald Foundation Awarded Second $500,000 PAsmart Advancing Grant

Emerald FoundationImage via Emerald Foundation

DOWNINGTOWN, PA — The Emerald Foundation announced the awarding of a second PAsmart Advancing Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education of $500,000 to expand organizational services in state schools. This grant is a part of Gov. Tom Wolf‘s $10.8m initiative aiming to enrich curriculum and afterschool programs with additional STEM and computer science learning opportunities. 

“Our mission is to help students develop their personal and professional skills through interactive club-based esports experiences,” says Joseph E. Besecker, Founder and President of the Emerald Foundation. “By being awarded a second PAsmart grant, it reflects the impact we have made with our esports initiative and helps us empower new school clubs that will benefit from future-forward career exploration and mentorship in STEM and computer science.”  

The Emerald Esports clubs will be established with the assistance of Intermediate Units in regions throughout Pennsylvania. “The CCIU has passionately supported the promotion and growth of esports in our community as a means to engage all students in career exploration and vital skill-building, and we are grateful for the continued opportunity to do so alongside The Emerald Foundation,” says Dr. George F. Fiore, Executive Director of the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU).  

Grant funding will support the Emerald Foundation’s career readiness activities that emphasize esports as a learning tool for STEM and computer science. The Emerald Foundation, through its key initiative, Emerald Esports, will focus on the following goals over the course of the PAsmart grant: 

  • Establish 100 Emerald Esports clubs across PA during 2021-2022  
  • Create career-exploration opportunities in these clubs linked to PA’s current and future In-Demand Occupations  
  • Pilot a career-exploration framework that will help schools promote students’ experiential learning and foster collaboration between career counselors, mentors, parents, and businesses.

Emerald Esports has been a pioneer in scholastic and community-based esports since 2018, reaching students across the country with unique tournaments and personal development opportunities. Over the next few years, the organization aims to further its impact in the areas of girls in gaming, esports and autism research, and engaging youth in underserved communities. Those interested in activating an Emerald Esports club can contact [email protected].

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