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Three Success Academy Chess Scholars Receive Dan Feinberg Success in Chess Award; HS Student Wins $20,000 Award


Contact: Liz Baker, 646-902-4200 [email protected]


Dr. Daniel Feinberg’s $1 Million Endowed Gift Funds Annual Chess Awards and the Next Generation of Chess at Success Academy

Success Academy Washington Heights scholar, Milana Ward, receives the Daniel Feinberg Success in Chess Award from Dr. Feinberg.

New York, NY — Today, three Success Academy scholars received the Daniel Feinberg Success in Chess Awards. SA High School of the Liberal Arts tenth-grade scholar Samuel Eyre received a $20,000 award for higher education — becoming the first high school student to receive this award. SA Bed-Stuy Middle School sixth-grade scholar Mouhamadou Tall and SA Washington Heights fourth-grade scholar, Milana Ward, received a year of chess lessons from a Grand Master and membership at the prestigious Marshall Chess Club.

“Dan has been an amazing mentor and coach not just to our scholars but to all our coaches,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “We are so grateful for this generous gift as well as for 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 when he watched students at Success Academy Harlem 2 learn the game in 2007. In particular, Dr. Feinberg was struck by how the network’s unique commitment to chess — introducing scholars to the game starting in kindergarten, and staffing schools with dedicated chess teachers — has cultivated an intense level of student engagement.

Watching the program develop from about 500 scholars to more than 4,200 scholars over the past 10 years, Dr. Feinberg was inspired to give a multi-faceted gift that will encourage scholars to continue to advance their chess skills.

Success Academy’s chess program had a strong 2018-2019 season. SA’s highest-ranked chess player Jessica Hyatt, an eighth-grader at SA Bed-Stuy Middle School, won first place at the New York State Chess Championship in March. The SA Bed-Stuy MS team took second place in the Under 14 Division at the All-Girls National Chess Championship in Chicago in April, where eighth-grader Geah Jean-Baptiste finished fourth in the country. At Junior High Nationals in April, the Success Academy Midtown West Middle School team finished fifth in the country in the K-8 open championship.

The Dan Feinberg Success in Chess Awards recognizes three Success Academy scholars — from elementary, middle, and high school — who have demonstrated significant progress in chess and reached ambitious ratings benchmarks.

"Asking me why I love chess is by far too mystifying a proposition to answer,” Dr. Feinberg said. “Asking me why I support the Success Academy Chess Program and its scholars is not — it is simple: there is great joy in sharing the journey that begins in kindergarten and develops into a lifelong passion for the game and for the life lessons that are learned through patience, strategy, and competition.” A founding board member of SA Harlem 2, Dr. Feinberg hopes that his gift will also inspire other chess enthusiasts to get involved with the Success Academy program and to consider additional philanthropic support.

Dan and Amy Feinberg made the gift, which is endowed for ten years, to encourage scholars to develop a lifelong passion for the game and to support the Success Academy chess program. “I see a passion for chess every time I visit a school. Many of them come to chess club every week and I’ve never seen one scholar who’s bored,” he said, adding, “You can see their pride when they go to nationals and succeed in front of their coaches, their parents, and their teachers. It’s living proof that all children have potential.”


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 17,000 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. Success Academy schools received more than 17,700 applications for 3,288 open seats for the 2018-19 academic year.

For more information about Success Academy, go to and

SA Bed-Stuy Middle School scholar Mouhamadou Tall receiving the Dan Feinberg Success in Chess Award. SA High School of the Liberal Arts scholar Samuel Eyre receiving the award and a $20,000 award from Dr. Feinberg.

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