Eight-year-old homeless refugee wins a chess championship, inspires a tidal wave of generosity.

Eight-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi won first place in the New York State Scholastic Championships tournament for kindergarten through third grade March 10.

He went undefeated in the tournament beating children from elite private schools.

“I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” he told the New York Times.


While the feat is impressive, what’s even more remarkable is that Tani, as he’s known, has only been playing chess for one year. Add to that, he’s only lived in America for two years — his family fled northern Nigeria in 2017 avoid being killed by Boko Haram terrorists.

And he lives in a homeless shelter.

For a little more than a year, Tani and his mother and father have lived in a shelter in New York City. His mother recently passed a course to become a home health aide and his father, Kayode, rents a car so he can drive for Uber and recently became a licensed real estate salesman.

The family has requested asylum, but their request is coming along slowly. The have a hearing scheduled for August.

Young Tani already has seven chess trophies that sit beside his bed in the shelter. He became enamored with the game after joining the chess club at his school P.S. 116. When the head of the school’s chess program, Russell Makofsky, heard that Tani's Family as homeless he waived the fees.

“He is so driven,” his school chess teacher, Shawn Martinez, said. “He does 10 times more chess puzzles than the average kid. He just wants to be better.”

In addition to participating in the school chess program, every Saturday he attends a three-hour practice session in Harlem. He also practices every night on his father's laptop.

When news of his astonishing story spread, Makofsky started a GoFundMe campaign to help the family find a place to live. In just four days the campaign has already raised nearly $200,000 for the family — more than enough to get them an apartment.

After the generous donations poured in and the family knew they could get back on their feet, Kayode decided to pay it forward. He announced on the GoFundMe page that the rest of the money would go to create the Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation “to share the generosity of others to those in need.”

“The U.S. is a dream country,” Kayode told The New York Times. “Thank God I live in the greatest city in the world, which is New York, New York.”

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less