AvaGG, a self-described foster cat-mom and “serial rager,” has been streaming and sharing her love of fast-paced shooter games on Twitch since 2012. She picked up streaming as a hobby to keep her entertained in-between classes and studying when she was in college. While playing games like Call of Duty, she watching other women Twitch streamers like Ms_Vixen, and that’s when she noticed her channel start to grow.

She continued to stream while still in school full-time and holding a part-time a job, fitting it in where she could.

“I never considered pursuing streaming as a career. It was truly just a hobby that helped pay bills. I never made any gimmicks to get people to sub to my channel; the people who subbed were supporting me because they genuinely want to support my channel. It was a slow and steady incline, never large pushes.”

Ava graduated with a degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in 2016 and moved into a career in behavioral therapy, working with kids with Autism. She continued to stream, but felt that her passion was in helping the kids she saw every day, a passion that hits close to home. With two younger brothers on the Autism spectrum, Ava’s desire to help them, and kids like them, fueled her choice to continue working full time, though the platform she’d created allowed her to occasionally merge her worlds for the greater good.

“I want to set an example. It’s fun and games, and we rage, but I want my audience to keep an open mind and learn about people who are different than them.”

Empowered to help, she’s coordinated multiple charity streams, with the end goal of supporting specialized schools for kids with Autism. In total, she’s raised over $35,000 for Westview School for Autism in Houston and Autism Behavioral Therapy.

“I wanted to see the impact of what my community could do to make these schools better for kids who attend them and it was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe it. On only my second time doing a charity stream, we raised $20,000. You don’t realize how many people and how far the impact of Autism reaches, until I saw response from my community.”

Even with her success as a part-time streamer, the plan was never to go full-time, until just last year (after six years of streaming) when she was laid-off from her full-time job. It gave her the push she needed.

“It was a hard decision at the time, I was making more money streaming part-time than I was at my full-time job, but the kids that I was helping meant so much to me. Being let go was a blessing in disguise - it made me take that leap I was afraid of taking to create content full-time.”

Though she’s been to two previous TwitchCons, this will be her first as a full-time streamer being on panels, doing a Meet and Greet, and appearing on stage content. Of those though, she says she’s most excited to meet her community.

“The Meet and Greets are the most fun thing to do, it’s rare that we’re all in one place together but at TwitchCon we get the opportunity to hang out and interact.”

You can meet AvaGG, and thousands of other creators, this year at TwitchCon 2018 in San Jose. Get your tickets here.