By Devin Reese on 28-06-2014
Samantha Castillo drove her family a bit crazy with her love for video gamesand her criticisms of the ones that could be better. She loved educational games when she was little, for example, but found the games for older kids could be pretty dull.
So she jumped at the chance to learn game design from USCs Game Innovation Lab when she was in high school. In return, the lab wanted high schoolers help in designing games to make it easier for first-generation students to apply for college.
First generation students are those whose parents havent gone to college. The knowledge gap between those parents, and the ones with college degrees, can be huge. Kids without parents to guide them through the application and financial aid processes are less likely to attend college, and less likely to get college degrees when they do. A big problem is under-matching, when the student settles for a much less challenging or selective school than the ones for which shes qualified.
That could have been Castillo, who lives in a neighborhood where just getting through high school is considered an accomplishment.