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Season 20 is here and it’s time to announce the October Ambassador of the Month! You’ve most likely seen her around the Discord, in the Twitterverse, and we can’t forget to mention the Behind the Scenes “Meet the Xbox Ambassadors” video she’s been in! We’re proud to introduce SecretAsian29 as the next Ambassador of the Month. Read on to learn more about her!

Girl in front of a green screen in sunglasses holding a clapperboardSecretAsian29 stumbled across the Xbox Ambassadors program while browsing the Xbox website back in Season 3. Already being a “go-to” person for gaming-related help in her community and with her love for Xbox, she immediately signed up.

“Why do I stay? We live in a digital world where staying connected to the community is essential, especially now with the current pandemic creating more separation. The program introduced me to amazing people from all over the world and has given me some of my best friends. Together, we all get to create and be a part of a positive gaming community where everyone is welcome.”

Girl in sweatshirt that says SecretAsian29 on the back playing a video gameGaming isn’t a passion for her – it is who she is. Technology and innovation defined her childhood. As a kid, she was the one who got in trouble for taking the phone and the toaster apart to see how they worked. Another thing she loved was reading, which let her go on adventures, experience other worlds, and solve mysteries and puzzles. Gaming is the fusion of these passions.

Beyond gaming, SecretAsian29 teaches and supports introductory coding and digital literacy classes. She is also building a program to teach coding and game design for K-12 students. She utilizes her marketing background to consult and assist with content creation, graphic design, and photo editing. She also enjoys creating and putting things together: baking, building furniture, coloring and painting, Metal Earth kits, and LEGOS. SecretAsian29 is also into photography and playing the piano and drums. You can find her doing some of her favorite things like hanging at the beach, listening to good tunes, eating chimichangas and checking out jets (F-15’s). If you like tacos or punny jokes, she’s your friend!Girl in all black holding a F-15 plane

Being a behind-the-scenes type of Ambassador, she is a great resource of information and she provides assistance for the community every day. As a volunteer for schools and community organizations, SecretAsian29 helps them build gaming programs and hosts discussions about the benefits of gaming, online safety, and how to get started with streaming and content creation. Not only does she volunteer at her local children’s hospital and play games with patients, she also partners with local businesses to host community Extra Life events to benefit the hospital and organize gaming tournaments and events, both in-person and online.

“That work has allowed me the opportunity to help families, as well as physical therapy, rehabilitation, and assisted living facilities, to get set-up for gaming using the Xbox accessibility controller… I aim to create positive experiences for people who thought gaming was beyond their reach and reinforce the fact that anyone can be a gamer.”

Girl pointing to a blue sticker with her logo on a poleAs proof of her commitment to being inclusive, SecretAsian29 successfully pitched the first ever panel idea on accessibility to be held at MomoCon. MomoCon is based in Atlanta, GA, USA, and is a place where fans of animation, gaming comics, and costuming come together to celebrate their passions. Due to the pandemic, like many events, MomoCon 2020 moved to a digital experience. Accessibility is vital to so many players, and awareness about it is growing every day. SecretAsian29 worked with SightlessKombat, an Ambassador without sight who is a passionate gamer and an engaging speaker, and SpyShadow, another Ambassador whose platform centers on positivity and inclusivity to put together the successful panel for the event.

“Despite not knowing each other previously, they created a FANTASTIC talk for the event. Not only did gamers from the event join the stream, but so did attendees with other interests. SightlessKombat and SpyShadow’s talk reached comic book artists, writers, and many different types of creators. The excitement of how they could incorporate the things they learned into their work to make it available to a broader audience and be more inclusive was amazing.”

To SecretAsian29, a healthy community is open and inclusive – Girl in glasses with her tongue outeveryone is welcome and feels comfortable engaging. It is a place where people feel like they belong. Admins maintain safety and standards, but ultimately the members make the community. What community members do matters, and that guides her actions be it saying hello in someone’s stream, interacting in a positive discussion, checking in on someone to help and listen, and playing games together. Online communities connect people from all over the world who have shared interests and makes a huge impact.

“Members have a safe space to geek-out and be themselves. Countless lifelong relationships have developed from connections made in various programs and communities. They are a lifeline for those without anyone near them who understands or would previously not be able to participate due to a myriad of potential reasons. The opportunity to connect with others online enables people to no longer feel isolated.”

Some more words from SecretAsian29:

“Gaming is excellent entertainment. However, I would like to encourage gamers to consider how they might use it for personal development. It could take the form of learning a new skill, sharpening one you already possess, learning about another culture or language, or experiencing a unique perspective—  like joining SightlessKombat for some Halo. After breaking my wrist, I thought I’d never be able to play the drums again. Thanks to Rock Band 4, I had a drum kit that would give me real-time feedback on my performance that I could use to help rehabilitate my hand and wrist. I didn’t have to practice alone because my friends wanted to rock out in the game with me!”

And a message to the Xbox Ambassadors community:

“Two things. One: Don’t underestimate your impact. Until 2018, I would never speak in party chat unless I personally knew everyone. Why? Because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was a girl. I had so many bad experiences that I believed I’d have a better time if I didn’t say anything at all. It was this community who supported me and gave me the courage to speak up. You make it safe for me and so many others to play without being treated differently— and it’s AWESOME! Two: Thank you. Thank you for giving me a place to play and be myself, for all the friendships and the great memories. Also, a huge thanks to whoever nominated me and to the CM’s for the opportunity to share what’s going on in my world. It was a happy surprise!”

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