Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lauderhill 6-12 Student Wins National 2015 LOFT Fellowship

Andrew Gayle heard that Lauderhill 6-12 students were programming drones, creating games, and entering contests; it was not difficult to predict his next move- he decided to join the party. Immediately he submerged himself in with a group of programmers and gamers.

The next steps towards his goal of owning his own video game company continued as a student in Mr. Deich’s Game Design classes; it was there he learned about the value of competing. Andrew entered the Video Game Innovation Fellowship Challenge sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF); their goal is to challenge minority youths to develop video games addressing social issues impacting their communities. Andrew entered the national competition with an original video game, “The Trash Eliminator” which brings awareness to pollution and the value of recycling.

Andrew was identified as one of twenty Fellows to receive a grant to network and continue development of his game project. Andrew was flown to Washington, D.C on October 21st to present his idea to Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation. He spent the morning providing interviews to the Miami Herald, NBC Universal, and local DC news outlets. At the Capital, he met and networked with Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA), Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ), Rep Stony Hoyer (MD), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM), and Michael Echols, Director of Cybersecurity of US Department of Homeland Security; they discussed his game and the empowerment of minority youth related to STEM. His day concluded with a White House briefing led by Erik Martin from the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Andrew was selected for his vision, creativity and positive impact on the community. As a 2015 LOFT Fellowship recipient Andrews plans on utilizing his $1000 on a new laptop purchase that meets his gaming requirements. He has also started recruiting members to join his team. The Trash Eliminator has a bright future.

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