Three Success Academy Chess Scholars Received Daniel Feinberg Success In Chess Award; Female Chess Phenom Wins College Scholarship
October 13, 2020
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, OCTOBER 13, 2020**
Third Annual Chess Awards Funds Next Generation of Competitive Chess Players at Success Academy
New York, NY — Today, three Success Academy scholars received the Daniel Feinberg Success in Chess Award. The award recognizes a scholar from elementary, middle, and high school who has demonstrated significant progress in chess and reached ambitious ratings benchmarks. SA High School of the Liberal Arts tenth grade scholar, Jessica Hyatt received $40,000 in college scholarship, contingent upon her remaining at SA High School of the Liberal Arts through graduation. SA Bed-Stuy Middle School seventh grade scholar Isaiah Brewster and SA Hudson Yards fourth grade scholar Gabe Bencosme-Lee each received $500 in private grandmaster lessons.
Jessica Hyatt hopes to become the first African American female chess master; the high school sophomore is currently ranked in the top 10 black female chess players in the country. As a female and an African-American, Jessica defies the statistics: both groups are underrepresented in the game of chess. She currently holds a US Chess Federation rating of 1947. In 2019 she went 6-0 in the State Championships in the U/1800 section and she is a divisional State Champion. In 2020 she placed 2nd in the All-Girls City Chess Championships.
“Congratulations to Jessica, Isaiah and Gabe for receiving this year’s Daniel Feinberg Success in Chess Award! We are immensely proud of your growth as chess players which has been achieved through hard work and determination,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “We are grateful to Dr. Feinberg’s generous gift as well as the many hours he has spent challenging our scholars across the chessboard.”
Dr. Daniel Feinberg, a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist, was first drawn to Success Academy’s chess program in 2007 as a founding board member of SA Harlem 2. As a chess player himself, he began playing against the students and met the coaches. He was struck by the quality of the program’s education, which introduces scholars to the game starting in kindergarten, teaching them life lessons earned through patience, strategy, and competition.
“To be able to work and give generously on behalf of underprivileged kids, kids from poor neighborhoods, inner city kids, was a great opportunity to fulfill my own sense of what I wanted to do with my good fortune in life,” said Dr. Daniel Feinberg.
Approximately 10,000 SA students take chess across 40 SA elementary, middle, and high schools. The program remains strong during remote learning, with remote practices taking place three times a week and in-house online tournaments occuring on Saturday’s. Approximately 1,500 students participate in chess clubs and more than 500 U.S. Chess Federation-rated players compete in tournaments. Scholars have the option to play competitively as early as first grade. SA routinely sends over 100 students to national tournaments around the country, from Orlando, FL to Nashville, TN.
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 20,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. In 2020, 100% of SA’s third and largest class of 99 graduating seniors were accepted to college, with 22% accepted to highly selective and 47% to selective institutions, with robust financial aid packages; 82% of the class will be the first in their families to attend college.
For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.