Zynga.org Brings Game Design Academy Career Day to San Francisco Students

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zynga.org, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the idea that social games are a platform for social good, will host 100 students from local high schools at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters for the 3rd annual Game Design Academy Career Day. The immersive day of game industry exposure and exploration is part of San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and Zynga.org’s Game Design Academy program, which leverages students’ interest and excitement around games to teach the fundamentals of technology education and computer science and to prepare the next generation of tech industry professionals to fill the jobs of tomorrow.

“We are excited to celebrate our third year of partnership with San Francisco Unified School District in bringing the Game Design Academy to priority schools in San Francisco,” said Erin Baudo Felter, Executive Director of Zynga.org. “We have seen that games can be a spark for students, engaging them not just in computer science and STEM learning, but also in exploring potential career paths in tech. Career Day allows us to bring students out of the classroom and connect them with Zynga’s talented and passionate game makers to bring those future career opportunities to life.”

Now in its third year, the Game Design Academy is a collaboration between SFUSD and Zynga.org, providing enhanced games and computer science curriculum, exposure to tech careers and hands-on work with game industry professionals to 11th and 12th grade students at San Francisco’s Thurgood Marshall and Balboa high schools. Beginning with 36 students in 2013, the program now serves more than 220 students during the 2015-2016 school year. More than 100 Zynga employees have invested nearly 800 hours supporting students through annual events like Game Jam and Career Day. Throughout the school year, Zynga employees work with students on aspects of game development including design, prototyping and pitching.

“With Zynga's help, we are at the forefront of developing a pipeline of local diverse talent who will graduate more prepared than ever to thrive in careers across San Francisco’s tech industry landscape,” said San Francisco Schools Superintendent Richard Carranza. “Game Design Academy is living proof that tech companies, working in partnership with educators, can play a vital role in shaping curriculum and instruction that truly prepares students for future career possibilities.”

During Game Design Academy Career Day, students will learn firsthand from Zynga game makers about the varied career opportunities available in gaming and tech – from engineering to art and product management to marketing. Zynga employees will lead students through a diverse set of workshops, including women in game making, the power of data and analytics to understand player preferences and engineering process and prototyping. Students will also meet with Zynga’s Human Resources team to develop their own professional resume and learn job interview skills.

About Zynga.org
Zynga.org’s mission is to help make the world a better place through games. Zynga.org has inspired more than 10 million players to contribute nearly $25 million through 200 in-game campaigns benefiting 50 nonprofit partners. These funds have supported the work of results-driven nonprofits worldwide, including partners like Direct Relief International, Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity, KaBOOM!, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Water.org, Wildlife Conservation Society, and World Food Programme.

About Zynga Inc.
Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq:ZNGA) is a leading developer of the world's most popular social games that are played by millions of monthly consumers. The company has created evergreen franchises such as FarmVille, Zynga Casino and Words With Friends. Zynga's NaturalMotion, an Oxford-based mobile game and technology developer, is the creator of hit mobile games in popular entertainment categories, including CSR Racing, CSR Classics and Clumsy Ninja. Zynga games have been played by more than 1 billion people around the world and are available on a number of global platforms including Apple iOS, Google Android, Facebook and Zynga.com. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. Learn more about Zynga at http://blog.zynga.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Erin Smith-Cheng
(650) 224 2462