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Competition highlights how playing esports may lead to job opportunities 

Kent ISD — To help families make the connection between esports and career opportunities, Kent ISD is hosting its first esports competition, the Kent County Cup, Saturday, April 27 at the Kent Career Tech Center, 1665 E. Beltline Ave. NE.

Many of the skills students learn playing esports, such as creativity, quick thinking and teamwork, are skills that employers are looking for, said Krista Harmon, Kent ISD workforce development consultant. Through the new esports competition, the goal is to help connect students and their families to careers that would utilize those skills, Harmon said. 

Doors open at 8:45 a.m. Students in 9th-12th grades may compete as individuals in a Super Smash Bros. competition for prizes, with play starting at 10:30 a.m. An awards ceremony is set for 4:30 p.m.

To participate in the Super Smash Bros. contest, students must register by April 20. There are 128 spots open for the competition. 

While students are competing, parents will have the opportunity to participate in sessions focused on how esports skills translate to career paths. Aquinas College Esports Director Will Wolf will talk about his experience from playing to career, and there will be a session on women in esports.

Will Wolf, Director of Workforce Development at Kent ISD Ryan Graham, and Caledonia 11th-grader Logan Reimbold talked about esports in this Your Dream is Our Dream podcast with WGVUNews.

There also will be a career showcase featuring local employers as they demonstrate how esports can create job opportunities.

Read more: 
Team ‘smashes’ its way to victory for first state esports title
Bringing esports to the next level

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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