Hello, my name is Rochelle Ballantyne and I want to be the first female African-American chess master.
Eleven years ago, I was like any other third grader, really active, really loud and really annoying, to my grandmother at least. Eleven years ago my grandmother found a way to keep me calm and to get my mind going: she taught me chess. To this day, I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. But my story is only just beginning.
Being one of the very few girls in the field of chess I’ve always wanted to stand out. I can’t think of a better way to do just that than being able to represent the United States at the World Youth Tournament this year in the United Arab Emirates. Coming from a low-income family, I’ve never let that stop me from achieving my goals. I’m a 3-time Girls’ National Champion; last year I placed nineteenth in the nation (girls and boys) at the K-12 Nationals Tournament; I’ve been featured in Brooklyn Castle and because of all my chess achievements, it’s also allowed me to thrive academically enabling me to receive a full scholarship to Stanford University.
But now I need your help. As an 18 year old, this is the last year I’ll be able to represent my country in this prestigious tournament, so I’m asking, please help me get there. Below is a link with more information about how you can help.