Briana Aea actively volunteers with the growing Sacramento tech community and currently serves as the vice chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Sacramento Chapter and co-organizer of the Sacramento Indie Arcade. In 2017, Briana was included in the Sacramento Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business feature as well as named by Girls on the Grid as a Sacramento Woman Making History.
Since 2005, Briana has been supporting UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Briana says she is driven by her empathy for the patients and their families and recognizes the important role that UC Davis Children’s Hospital plays in the Northern California region as the only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital for children, equipped with a level I pediatric trauma center and a level I children’s surgery center. Briana incorporates her love for games into her fundraising efforts through Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network fundraising program.
Meet our newest Miracle Maker, Briana Aea.
How long have you been involved with Children’s Miracle Network at UC Davis?
I have been involved with the Children’s Miracle Network at UC Davis since 2005. Back then, I was working the Radiothon broadcasts. Now I’m organizing events like the Sacramento Indie Arcade to help build awareness for Extra Life and raise funds for our local children’s hospital!
There are so many good causes. Why do you choose to support UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
UC Davis Children’s Hospital has always been near to my heart. From the medical staff to the families who are affected, I know the work is genuine and very much needed in our region. I want to do what I can to help support that.
What is your favorite memory while supporting UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
My favorite memory while supporting UC Davis Children’s Hospital brings me back to November 5, 2016. My friend Miranda and I took part in our first Extra Life game day, where we attempted to play games for 24 hours straight as part of our fundraiser. It was fun because we got to relive parts of our childhood that we forgot about. She and I spent time playing retro video games, card games, and even streamed it for a little while via Twitch. We haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! It was by far the best fundraising experience we have ever had. That year we both hit our fundraising goals.
I enjoy helping people and I believe in the Children’s Miracle Network’s mission for UC Davis Children’s Hospital. To see a little smile on a child and their parent’s faces makes my efforts worthwhile.
How has being involved with UC Davis Children’s Hospital changed your life? Your family’s life?
Being involved with UC Davis Children’s Hospital through Extra Life has changed my life in that I am able to educate people and show them that playing games can be for good! Whether I am with my little brothers or my friends, it is wonderful to know that we can help others by doing what we love. I have also been able to introduce Extra Life to our local Sacramento game developer community. Many of them are at the age to start a family of their own. It is important to me that I show them who our local children’s hospital is and how it could potentially affect their family down the road. We never know when we will need UC Davis Children’s Hospital so it’s really awesome that we can help them now.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
I am motivated to volunteer because I enjoy helping people and I believe in the Children’s Miracle Network’s mission for UC Davis Children’s Hospital. To see a little smile on a child and their parent’s faces makes my efforts worthwhile.
What do you think about every time you volunteer for UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
When I volunteer for UC Davis Children’s Hospital, I think about the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I think about how they’re fighting for their lives and I think about their parents who are trying to get some rest in a room down the hall.
What do you think is the most important thing people don’t know about this hospital?
The most important thing people should know about the UC Davis Children’s Hospital is that it is the Sacramento region’s only level I pediatric trauma center. This state-of-the-art facility serves as a referral hospital throughout Northern California, western Nevada and southern Oregon. There are only a few other hospitals in California who can provide this level of service and care to pediatric patients.
What would you say to people about why they should invest in the health of UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
I encourage people to invest in the health of children’s hospitals because one day our family or neighbors or someone we care about in the community may need their services. Spread the aloha and extend a helping hand!