St. Thomas Magazine_Spring 2022

The longtime video gamer and coder is also empowering Black, Indigenous and Latinx youth to build generational wealth by becoming software developers and animators. “So many of our kids – like 80% of Black youth – are playing video games and only 3% of characters look like us,“ said Porter, whose business is cited as being the first Black female-owned video game company in the world tomake console games for Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo. “Part of the problem is, we have so few BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] developers in the gaming space,“ she said. This Minnesota native, who simultaneously earned a bachelor‘s degree in aeronautics from a Florida university while serving in the Marine Corps, has a hands-on solution to increase the pipeline for diverse tech talent. During the 2022-23 school year, her business will launch a three-year applied work- study program for St. Paul high school students from underestimated communities. Additionally in the fall, Seraph 7 Studios will roll out a paid one-year apprenticeship for young adults.

BILLIE Nicknamed “The Mississippi Supersonic,“ Ms. Billie Mahalia Rudolph moves at supersonic speeds and hears ultrasonic sounds. She has an aeronautics degree, just like Porter.

MANNY At 80 years old, the legally blind, hand-to-hand fighter uses smell to sense danger. His character brings awareness about albino people.

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