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Twitch Phenom Pokimane Donates $50,000 to Fund UC Irvine Esports Scholarships

Pokimane

Photo courtesy of Imane Anys

A female gamer with 94 million total views on Twitch.tv and almost 5 million subscribers on YouTube has pledged $50,000 to University of California, Irvine for student scholarships in its esports program. Imane Anys, better known as "Pokimane," has made a $25,000 donation this year, with a commitment of giving another $25,000 next year. The funding will be used to set up an endowment for tuition and fees for gamers selected by UCI Esports.

This is the first endowment for the university's four-year-old esports program. According to the institution, the gift will enable the merit-based "Pokimane Scholarship" to be awarded in perpetuity to deserving students. Beginning in 2022, about $2,500 will be given annually to a single undergraduate. There will be no limit to how many times a student may earn the scholarship during his or her time at UCI.

"I am so pleased to be able to give back to the gaming world, which has given me so much," Anys said, in a statement. "I love being able to share my experience of how I got to where I am today in hopes that it will help others who are on their way. I'm also especially happy to be supporting UCI's esports program because their students are focusing on gaming in addition to pursuing their college degrees — which, I can say from experience, isn't easy!"

Anys, 23, currently lives in Los Angeles. The Canadian got her start streaming herself playing Fortnite and League of Legends, the latter a game for which UCI's esports teams claimed the national championship in 2018.

"We couldn't be more excited about this generous gift from Pokimane," added Mark Deppe, director of UCI Esports. "The gaming community contributes so much passion and energy to the world of esports, and we are thrilled to recognize and reward some of the outstanding leaders. I am incredibly thankful for Poki's generosity, and I hope this will inspire other successful gamers and streamers in the future."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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