The Maryland Department of Labor was please to unite with Premier Chess and National Scholastic Chess Foundation on an event to inspire the next generation of leaders in Baltimore, MD. The Maryland Department of Labor partnered with Booker T. Washington Middle School to create the BTW Chess Club to give the middle school students an opportunity to receive mentorship, new skills and hope. The group is comprised of seven students, all sixth graders, who were initially novice players and have since become quite skilled. On Monday, May 13, 2019, the BTW Chess Team had a surprise visit from National Chess Master and Owner of Premier Chess, Evan Rabin and National Scholastic Chess Foundation Director of Operations, Robert McLellan, along with Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford; Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation Acting Secretary James Rzepkowski; BTW chess club creator, Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz; BTW Chess Club organizer, Summar J. Goodman and club founder George Anderson.
Principal Misha Scott was pleased to welcome to delegation as she has witnessed the growth of the students both socially and academically during the time they were involved in the chess club. The impressive delegation coordinated a surprise visit to the school and later, a luncheon to encourage the students to strive for excellence despite external challenges that many adolescents face.
The students had a wonderful time. They had an opportunity to discuss their plans for the state of Maryland with the Lieutenant Governor, future career goals with the Secretary of Commerce, and job creation with the Acting Secretary of Labor. The quickly finished lunch for the chance to challenge Evan Rabin in a game of chess..
The BTW Chess Club came about when then Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz was speaking with Police Office George Anderson about ways to engage students at Booker T. Washington Middle School which is located within blocks of the agency. Being a champion chess player, Officer Anderson naturally suggested a chess program. It was created for employees to give back to the community where they worked. Anderson, along with Summar J. Goodman established a partnership with the school to provide chess lessons to interested students during their lunch breaks. After several weeks, the Booker T. Washington Chess Team was formed. The students are enthusiastic about the game of chess and are looking forward to competing in tournaments in the future.