My life took a turn for the better when I served as a counselor at Sawyerville Day Camp and Special Session at Camp McDowell in the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. Those two weeks in the Alabama heat were both challenging and fun. I experienced leadership and found community. Over the past decade, I staffed more youth events for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama than I can remember.
For three of my years at Birmingham-Southern, I spent a few hours every afternoon working as a chess coach at local elementary schools. In that time, I became obsessed with chess and it’s potential as a teaching tool. I moved to Chattanooga in the fall of 2016 to establish a scholastic chess program that encouraged physical, social-emotional, and cognitive growth. ChessNinja slowly grew through research, experimentation, and iteration.
I’m committed to establishing an organization that elevates chess and intentionality in Chattanooga. One that not only serves the students in our classes but also empowers teens and adults to give their talents and attention to children in their community.
The best is yet to come,
Thomas Lane, January 2018