Rochelle Ballantyne has grown up before our eyes in the past six years. From her legend at IS-318 (featured in movie, “Brooklyn Castle“) to winning scholarships at different schools and ultimately enrolling at Stanford University, Rochelle has used chess as a platform to academic excellence. Typically, college students have little time to dedicate to chess. Marquee programs such as Webster University, University of Texas-Dallas, University of Maryland-Baltimore County have set the standard for the chess-playing student-athlete. However, other schools still boast strong players who also have chess aspirations.
Rochelle’s rigorous curriculum will give her little time in her freshman year at Stanford, but she is attempting to round out her youth career with another attempt at the World Youth Chess Championships to be help in the United Arab Emirates. The event will take place in December and she is attempting to raise US$5,000.00 to attend.
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. Please include #Rochelle in your #give tweet to @Brooklyn_Castle!
Subjects of “Brooklyn Castle”
(front) Patrick Johnston, Alexis Parades, Justus Williams
(back) Pobo Efekoro, Rochelle Ballantyne