A key aspect of the coming Rev. Leon H. Sullivan Community Impact Center is the Esports Event and Technology Center. This dual-purpose space can host Esports events and be converted into a 60-station state-of-the-art computer lab.
One of the programs planning to take advantage of this space is beginning to take shape, and it starts with the Bethune Elementary and Kenderton Elementary schools. Entitled the “BriDDge Career Pathways Program: Bridging the Digital Divide,” this program will provide meaningful career pathways for North Philadelphia youth.
But what does Esports have to do with career building? By providing an engaging introduction to careers like event planning, information technology, broadcasting and beyond. With hundreds of careers available in business, STEM, media, communications, education and more, students in the BriDDge program will be introduced to them all while continuing to enjoy one of their favorite hobbies, finding a deeper appreciate and love for Esports they didn’t know existed. They may come for the games, but they’ll leave with a career.
This program is guided by social cognitive theory, which has been applied to the education field to understand knowledge acquisition and behavior. It’s through this that students will learn through the dynamic interaction of cognitive, social and environmental factors which collectively motivate, reinforce, and sustain behavior.
BriDDge will focus intently on developing cognitive traits related to goal setting and intentional self-regulation through Esports and other STEM activities. Also, the team-oriented environment will foster strong relationships with peers/coaches which will be leveraged to help youth align personal and environmental assets both inside and outside the program. Collectively, these experiences will promote a sense of self-efficacy, self-worth, and social competence which will enhance college and/or college readiness, and health.
While the Community Impact Center is not scheduled to open until 2024, Called to Serve will launch up to seven community-based sites to host Esports teams as the initial step in the BriDDge program, starting with the Bethune Elementary and Kenderton Elementary schools with plans for near-future expansion for schools in the Tioga-Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Stay tuned and keep an eye out for more developments that will be happening soon!