The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Valedictorian wins scholarship


October 10, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | Wasco Tribune

Kyler Martinez

Kyler Martinez, a Shafter High graduate and one of six valedictorians in 2019, was the recipient of a $3,000 scholarship from the Entertainment Software Association to help him pursue his goal of a career in the gaming industry.

Martinez said the scholarship will help alleviate the financial stress that comes with college and will allow him to concentrate on the most important part of college – learning. "I have a love for storytelling, writing, graphic design and music. Video games take several of these aspects and mold them into a unique experience." Martinez also said that making video games allows him to express different ideas that can be shared among his friends.

Martinez is attending Cal Poly Pomona and majoring in computer engineering. He looked into several colleges in and around California, but Pomona was the best fit. "I chose Pomona because that is where my AP credits transferred best and is also where I received the most financial aid," said Martinez.

The ESA gave out a total of $111,000 in scholarships this year. Scholarships were awarded to students pursuing degrees in video game art and design, computer animation, virtual technology and computer engineering. The foundation is dedicated to helping bring a new perspective to the video game workforce by offering a wide variety of scholarships and grants. The annual scholarships encourage students to turn a passion for video games into a career by supporting education paths in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Martinez said video games intrigue him because "every game takes a different approach and tells a different story."

Kyler's experience at Shafter High helped him gain confidence in navigating the college path he is on. "A lot of my success so far has been a result of support I have received from family, friends and teachers at Shafter High. They told me to find what I like and hone in on it – to be confident in what I want and just keep it going."


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