Portland, OR. Over 220 business and community leaders gathered at the downtown Hilton on April 26th for the Chess for Success Game Changer Luncheon. The event was emceed by Richard Meeker, President of City of Roses Media Company and Founder of Willamette Week’s Give!Guide. Portland Public Schools Superintendent, Guadalupe Guerrero, was a special guest watched students Xochitl and Anna play a game of chess. He also shared his own story about playing chess with his siblings and the important role the game played in his life.

Students from Chief Joseph Elementary pose with PPS superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero

Board member and volunteer coach Richard Greensted posed with his wife Jennifer and Ciaran and Malachi from Chief Joseph Elementary

The King of Chess poses with a chess pieces

Emcee Richard Meeker, Ellen Rosenblum, Rukaiyah Adams, David Chen, Olumide Adebolu, and Tinuade Adebolu

Keynote Speaker Shemia Fagan holds her 1992 Oregon Scholastic Chess trophy while giving her remarks.

The keynote speaker was Shemia Fagan, former State Representative. Shemia is originally from Dufur, Oregon. Raised by a single father, Shemia went on to win the Oregon Scholastic Chess Tournament as a fourth grader. She shared her powerful story about how chess gave her the confidence and drive to succeed. Finally, Michael Malone, retired chess coach and current program manager, spoke alongside chess students from Lent School, Chief Joseph Elementary, and Ockley Green Middle School. “We benefit as a society from everything Chess for Success does for these kids,” Michael said.

From Chess for Success:

Chess for Success guests and sponsors gave over $120,000 to support children in the program. It was the most successful luncheon ever! Thank you to everyone who attended. The chess kids thank you, too!

When you invest in the mission of Chess for Success, you help our region’s children succeed, one move at a time.

Chess for Success is an intervention responding to the academic deficiency, lack of educational support systems, and lack of recreational outlets economically disadvantaged and minority children face. 

The tangible benefits of supporting Chess for Success—clubs held twice weekly, tournament opportunities, club t-shirts, and chess sets for each child to keep—are gifts that will brighten the school year for economically disadvantaged and minority children. The intangible benefits last a lifetime.
Hear from educators and students how your support makes a difference.

Our carefully crafted lesson plans help students develop analytical, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills that improve behavior and academic performance (attendance, grades, and test scores), building self-confidence. As a result, students begin setting goals for their futures.

Working with our more than three dozen community partners, it is our goal to increase the high school graduation rate (Oregon now ranks worst in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and Washington is 40th) and improve college and workplace readiness.

By helping to close the achievement gap now, at-risk children have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life, ending the cycle of poverty.  

Your support truly is a game changer for more than 3,400 boys and girls.

Please make your tax-deductible contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated.

Chess for Success has been recognized for fiscal responsibility. We received the Light a Fire 2009 “Most with the Least” award for providing programming at an average cost of $150 per student. In September 2014, we received distinction as a “BBB Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 Better Business Bureau Giving Alliances Standards for Charity Accountability. We remain good stewards of the funds entrusted to us.

Chess for Success is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization: Tax ID 93-1208405