WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There is a new program in Palm Beach County to level the playing field and meet the needs of minorities in professional gaming.
Nestled in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, there’s a safe haven for teens inside the historic City Side Suites.
“It's just a way of protecting creating a safe environment where our students in Palm Beach can game in a community they can trust," Program Director Ezekiel Edmonds III said.
City Side Suites is a place where 14-year-old Malachi Bell can come to improve his skills on video games.
"I’d like to be a professional gamer," said Bell.
Video games has been his passion since he was three years old and now he wants to make a career out of creating games as well.
“Video games isn’t for everybody, but if it's a passion than I think you should pursue your passion. If you like video games, I think you should play video games," Bell said.
The Palm Beach County Scholastic Esports league is the first of its kind and it is geared toward minorities to help bridge the gap and provide teens access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.
"They just have to qualify with what they’re doing with career and economic base. That’s our job as parents to find the pathway," Edmonds said.
Edmonds says its more than just gaming, its a chance to get plugged into the countless opportunities in the professional E-SPORTS field.