Chess is a game of wits, a battle between two minds attempting to prevail over the other.
So how is chess able to help out at-risk youths in urban environments?
Orrin Hudson, founder of the Atlanta-based non-profit group Be Someone, has found a connection between at-risk youths and helping them stay away from the pitfalls in life – all with the game of chess.
“Chess saved my life,” explains Hudson. Before learning chess, Hudson was on a path that many inner-city kids take: being in a gang. “I went to an all-black high school and a teacher by the name of James Edge took time to teach me that it was very important to think for yourself and don’t just follow to follow.”
To this day, Hudson says that he owes his life to Edge for taking the time to teach him that you can’t always flow with the mainstream and that you need to think about the actions before having to deal with the consequences.
Through his non-profit Be Someone, Hudson teaches the game of chess to urban youths while many people have already given up on them because of how rough the area the children live in or the reputations of the schools that they attend. He sees the potential in all young people no matter what race, ethnicity, religion, or political alignment. The organization hosts free workshops and events to teach the game of chess while also promoting racial unity, positivity peace, and purpose in the community.
According to Hudson, “There’s four types of people in the world: the people that subtract and people that divide, people that add and multiply. All we’re doing is teaching them to multiply value and add value.” He strongly believes and teaches that people need to add and multiply value to their communities and surroundings.
Chess is all one big metaphor for life but it is also an exercise for the children to actually apply to their lives. The game teaches focus, forethought, circumspect, and the ability to live in the moment. When kids learn the game of chess and apply it to their everyday lives, these are the life skills they are able to take away from it all.
Hudson’s impact through Be Someone is only in the Southeast, but all over the nation. He travels the nation to teach the skills that chess has to offer. His tour will take his message to Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson, MO.
For more information, visit: http://www.besomeone.org.