Monday, November 23, 2015

Chess for Success: Using an Old Game to Build New Strengths in Children and Teens

Maurice Ashley immigrated to New York from Jamaica at the age of twelve, only to be confronted with the harsh realities of urban life. But he found his inspiration for a better life after stumbling upon a chess book and becoming hypnotized by the game. He would eventually break the chess world's color lines by becoming an International Grandmaster in 1999.

Ashley realized that chess strategies could be used as an educational tool to help children avoid the pitfalls often associated with growing up. In this book, he serves up compelling anecdotes about how chess has positively affected young players. He also offers tips on technique, how to make the game fun for children of all ages and levels, and how to overcome the myth that chess isn't cool. Through his guidance, readers will understand how chess strategies can improve a child's mental agility, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Chess for Success is a much-anticipated resource for parents, teachers, counselors, youth workers, and chess lovers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Maurice Ashley lives his passion. Through his love for chess, he not only made history as the first African-American International Grandmaster in the annals of the game, but he has translated his love to others as a three-time national championship coach, two-time author, ESPN commentator, iPhone app designer, puzzle inventor, and motivational speaker. He is now working as a Joint Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Media Lab to bring the benefits of chess and other classic games to a wider educational audience through the innovative use of technology.

Maurice has traveled the world as an ardent spokesperson of the character-building effects of chess. Coming from the rough and tough streets of Kingston, Jamaica and Brooklyn, New York, Maurice has tirelessly shared his compelling story with young people in places such as the crime-ridden neighborhoods of Detroit, the townships of Cape Town, South Africa and the poverty-stricken jungles of Belize. His book, Chess for Success (Broadway Books, 2005) crystallizes his vision of the many benefits of chess, particularly for at-risk youth, and he continuously spreads his message of living one’s dream to universities, businesses, chess clubs and non-profit organizations around the globe.

His app, Learn Chess! With Maurice Ashley, has been sold in over 30 countries, and he has received multiple community service awards from city governments, universities, and community groups for his work. His drive and enthusiasm always have him on the go. In the fall of 2011, Maurice toured six Caribbean nations to bringing chess, books, and technology to kids in the region.


  • Speaking Engagements
  • Teaching Life Strategy
  • Chess Strategy Teaching
  • Tournament Host

Friday, October 30, 2015

Top 10 Minority Scholarships

Being a minority poses certain challenges that other individuals might not have to endure. When it comes to education, poverty, geographic region, and access to tutors and other opportunities may limit the potential for some.

In the United States and around the world there are private and public organizations that strive to provide more and better opportunities for minority students. One way to help these young individuals achieve their dreams is by helping them further their education. That’s where scholarships can be incredibly important.

There are many different scholarships available (more than 3 million in total), between private universities and colleges and those for which only a select few are even eligible. For minorities, whether they are African-American, Native American, or another heritage, earning a scholarship can be the difference between success in life and watching those dreams pass them by.

Here are the top 10 minority scholarships that are available on the national level (meaning they can be applied for by any minority, regardless of which state they live or where they plan to attend college).

National Achievement Scholarship Program.

This scholarship is made available through National Merit Scholarship Corporation. This organization has been a consistent leader in providing scholarships for thousands of students through the years and offers this particular one to deserving and ambitious Black American youth.

The main goal of the National Achievement Scholarship Program is to “increase educations opportunities for academically accomplished Black American students and encourage colleges to broaden their recruiting efforts.”

This particular scholarship is transitioning to the Achievement Capstone Program in 2016. Black American students interested in this scholarship need to be highly achieved in school with strong community service and ambition.

Learn more about this scholarship and its future through National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

CHCI Scholarship Program.

This scholarship is available for Latino college students. It is designed to help provide critical financial assistance to Latino students who are already enrolled in college. In order to qualify, the student needs to be in good academic standing and have a history of performing public service oriented activities throughout their communities.

The awards are: $1,000 for a community college or AA/AS granting institution, $2,500 for a 4 year academic institution, and $5,000 for a graduate level institution.

The scholarships are intended to provide financial support for tuition, room and board, books, and other direct educational purposes.

To learn more about this scholarship, visit CHCI.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs.

The purpose of the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs is to help increase diversity in the nation’s colleges and universities. In order to achieve this, a more racially diverse student body is necessary.

There are numerous scholarships for minorities available to students through this program at all levels of college careers. In order to qualify, the student must be a legal citizen or resident of the United State, show proof of superior academic achievement, and be committed to teaching and research at the college or university level.

Learn more about these scholarship opportunities through the Ford Foundation.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

This organization is dedicated to providing financial support to Hispanic students throughout the United States. In order to qualify, the student needs to be of Hispanic descent, either directly or through family lineage.

There are different scholarships for students to consider applying for, so any Hispanic student wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should check out the Hispanic Scholarship Fund website directly.

The Korean American Scholarship Foundation.

Students who have Korean ancestry may be eligible for any one of the scholarships available through this organization. The Foundation offers private scholarships for Korean American students, focuses on promoting community and civic service among students, and nurtures pride in Korean cultural heritage and tradition.

In order to qualify, the student needs to show a clear financial need for assistance, possess strong scholastic achievement, have recommendation letters, compose an essay, and show extracurricular activities.

Learn more about these scholarships through the Korean American Scholarship Foundation.

American Bar Foundation Summer Research Grants.

The American Bar Foundation provides summer research grants for minority students, up to $3,000 that can be used to pay for some aspect of their college educational expenses. Each grant is provided to a different school, and they can change from one year to the next so it’s a good idea to check with the college or university about availability.

In order to quality, seniors cannot apply for the summer months following graduation. Only one grant is available to students each academic calendar. Learn about these grants by viewing Northwestern University’s page devoted to this minority based grant.

National Association of Black Journalists.

There are several scholarships available to Black students who are actively pursuing a degree in journalism. The Allison E. Fisher Scholarship, Carole Simpson Scholarship, and Larry Whiteside Scholarship are just a sampling of what’s available.

Students must be members of the National Association of Black Journalists, must be enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university, must have a major in journalism or communications related discipline, and must meet certain GPA requirements.

Learn about specific requirements at the NABJ Scholarships page.

National Medical Fellowships.

The mission of National Medical Fellowships is to provide scholarships to underrepresented minorities in medicine and health professions. There are a number of scholarships available to a wide range of minority students.

Learn more about these opportunities through the National Medical Fellowships website.

Xerox Minority Scholarships.

The company Xerox provides some great scholarships for minorities, from $1,000 to $10,000. All minority students are eligible to apply if they are enrolled in an accredited four year college or university and pursuing a technical degree.

To learn about specific GPA and other requirements, visit Xerox’s scholarships page.

William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fellowship for Minority Students.

This particular fellowship is made available three times per year for the Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation in Washington, D.C. Research, writing, and other requirements are necessary for minority students to be considered for this fellowship.

The students must exhibit an interest in nonprofit work and philanthropy. To learn more and apply, visit the Aspen Institute Program’s page dedicated to this minority fellowship program.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Black Girl Nerds

Black Girl Nerds is a place for women of color with various eccentricities to express themselves freely and embrace who they are.  This is not a site exclusively for Black women.  It’s for ALL women who are just as nerdy as we are and the men who love and appreciate us.  I named this site Black Girl Nerds because the concept of Black women as geeky-dorky beings is somewhat of an anomaly.  It’s against the order of things in the “Black Girl” world.  We represent a wide array of diverse women who embrace all cultures and refuse to conform to the status quo.
This community does not have an exclusionary purpose.  The term “Black Girl Nerd” is not intended to be derogatory nor is it racially biased.  It is a term of endearment to all women like me who have been attached to a stigma that is not an accurate representation of my personality or my idiosyncratic behaviors.

This is a website for every nerdy girl that can finally come out of the closet and tell the world that they are PROUD to be who they are—no matter what anyone says, does, or think.  This is a place where you can truly be yourself and not be judged by others.  This site welcomes girls of all races, but it was called Black Girl Nerds because it is a term that is so unique and extraordinary, that even Google couldn’t find a crawl for the phrase and its imprint in the world of cyberspace.  The mission is to put an end to that and know that many Black Girl Nerds exist on this planet.

This community encourages other bloggers, web creators, and the like to create niche sites such as this one to spread to the world that being a nerd is a lovely thing.  In fact, being a nerd is a gift and should be highly revered.  It is not often that you will find an unsuccessful nerd.  Therefore be nice to your fellow nerds—you never know, you may be working for them one day.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Single Mother Of 3 Graduates From UCLA With 3 Degrees

WESTWOOD ( — A 28-year-old single mother of three boys graduated from UCLA with three degrees.

A packed house at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion cheered for Deanna Jordan Friday night.
“I needed for my sons to see there was a legacy that preceded them with college. I am the first in my family to go to college,” Jordan said.

Jordan grew up in Compton. After high school, she got pregnant at 18. She had her third son at 22.
“I had him and in the hospital I remember thinking, ‘I’m 22, there’s no future unless I can create one,’” Jordan said.

After two years at West Los Angeles Community College and three-and-a-half years at UCLA, the department scholar is graduating with two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in African-American Studies.
“She had limited time, plus she took the initiative,” Dale Tatum, a UCLA lecturer, said.

Jordan also founded the Compton Pipeline Taskforce—she and UCLA volunteers work on academics at Compton schools, including Carver Elementary, where she attended.

“I saw the difference in how my boys were in school in Brentwood and then how schools were in Compton where I came from,” she said.

Jordan credits family support and UCLA for making her dreams a reality.

“You can’t really succeed unless you fail, and I failed a lot of times, but it was my persistence and my willingness never to give up,” she said.

Jordan, who also works in the Compton mayor’s office, plans to take a year off before she heads to law school. She plans on becoming a district attorney


Friday, August 7, 2015

African American Quiz Bowl: Honoring the Legacy: Honoring the Legacy - Press Release

Author Brenda Lang-Knapp sheds light on the African-American truths and contributions to American history. After an extensive research, she put her findings together in “African American Quiz Bowl.” This is not a typical book about African Americans. It is an account of the many trials, tribulations, and contributions of African Americans to the United States in particular and the world in general. 

“The African American Quiz Bowl” is a compilation of facts about African American pioneers and leaders who have made an impact on people’s lives through their innovativeness and talents.  Many African Americans never received the recognition that they deserved because school curriculum and media outlets have neglected to include an unbiased accounting of their achievements. It is a resource that reveals the many contributions of Black people that have been omitted from the history books. 

The concept of the quiz bowl format is to enable teachers and students to learn about African American achievements in a contest type setting. Additionally, for teachers who wish to use the book as a contest, there will be a teacher’s guide of educational activities to complement the text. This will also help students become more knowledgeable about the past and use this information in decision making and lifelong learning.

Written in an easy-to-understand question and answer format, this book could make a difference in how African Americans are viewed in the United States and around the world. Readers should be able to see that they have been shortchanged in their learning, and that they would want to acquire a more accurate understanding and knowledge of this hidden past.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Is this Britain's cleverest girl? Ten-year-old is accepted on university course to study maths degree despite not going to school

She spends her spare time in a similar way to many other ten-year-old girls - playing with Barbie dolls and making loom bands.

But the key difference between Esther Okade and other children her age is that she has been accepted to study for a university maths degree - despite not going to school.

Esther, from Walsall, West Midlands, has enrolled on an Open University course months after she passed her A-levels - and wants to study for a PhD before running her own bank.

The girl, who gained a C grade in her maths GCSE aged six, has joined the course which started this month. Her younger brother Isiah is already studying for his A-levels - also aged six.

The siblings are both home-schooled by their mother Omonefe, who has converted the living room of their semi-detached, three-bedroom house into a makeshift classroom.

Mathematician Mrs Okade, 37, said: ‘Esther is doing so well. She took a test recently and scored 100 per cent. Applying to the university was an interesting process because of her age.

‘We even had to talk to the vice-chancellor. After they interviewed her they realised that this has been her idea from the beginning. From the age of seven Esther has wanted to go to university.

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