Mentor Calls for Young Black CEOs with Gamer Attitude
By Dianne Anderson
Ask DeMarco Washington what the kids need more of these days, and the answer is gaming, which is one of his favorite things… but it’s not always about fun.
When he’s not mentoring or working on a career in the fire service, he is thinking of new ways to lure Black students into higher education, helping them refine their business acumen, and explore great paying career paths.
Washington hosts video and gaming tournaments with participants worldwide. He said the gaming industry is wide open to numerous opportunities and technologies, including designing and production, software, audio engineering, technical support, hardware and cybersecurity, to name a few.
Other career choices include artistic development of simulated work environments to help virtually familiarize employees before they work it out in real-time. Professional gamers can earn up to $60,000 a year.
“True gamers at heart can apply to different gaming companies. There are a number of training programs and video games [related] to careers. I’ve seen games that help out with firefighter situations. I’ve seen cybersecurity majors that do coding. Gaming is educational,” said Washington, owner and CEO of Gaming Community Establishment LLC.
Washington, 26, graduated with his degree in business psychology from CSUSB in 2018. Since his freshman year, he has mentored over 1,000 students, and worked as a guide and life coach.
Through his college experience, his involvement as Student Orientation Advising and Registration leader, Coyote First STEP (Student Transition Enrichment Program) representative, allowed him to bring more students from local high schools transitioning to college.
He wants to continue in that mode as soon as campuses reopen.
Washington was recently named one of three new members of the CSUSB Alumni Association Board of Directors, and he expects to continue outreach to local high schools, giving presentations to attract more students to close the gap.
Increasing Black students on campus is a priority. He said it has been concerning to see such low attendance.
“At Cal State San Bernardino, we have a small number of Black students, it’s not high at all. I plan to give speeches and workshops at certain schools, but also to let them know that CSUSB is more affordable than most other colleges, the prices are fair,” said Washington, a Community Service honoree of the S.B. NAACP branch.
Last year, he was one of a few Black students to receive his Emergency Medical Technician license, but he was the lone Black student in his fire academy class.
“People were saying some racist things and jokes. I had to try to ignore it, but I would bring it up to them. I tried to keep it professional,” he said.
In another free program, Washington is calling for young business-minded youth to join Young Black CEOs series where he and two other business owners regularly come together to toss around ideas. They offer credit building advice and roundtables with personal finance tips.
“It’s about how to run their business the right way, the stuff that wasn’t taught to us in school, but we can use our experience and success to help move the younger culture forward,” he said.
They want to inspire local Black youth to achieve their personal academic goals and develop forward-thinking business moves.
“It’s no money at all, we give free advice and workshops for how to be successful, especially young adults and not sure where to go,” he said. “Depending on what they want to work on, we set up zoom meetings or phone calls to work out things they have problems with or working on.”
Before the pandemic, he hosted his gaming table at the CSUSB Business Madness Fair, which he said was exciting to see the level of interest for students working on their business game plan.
“We held a BSU event on campus, me and fellow students hosted a gaming tournament, we had students from different dorms. It was a Black event and it was really great to see us turn out,” he said.
For more information, see YBC at