The Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County are proud to continue their partnership with Y STEM and Chess Inc. this summer. Y STEM and Chess Inc.'s mission is to provide free math, coding, and chess classes to under-served and at-risk youth. The Boys & Girls Club is committed to ensuring all children they serve have access to life-improving opportunities in their community and the chance to build passion around subjects that will help equip them for a successful adult life. “When children are excited to learn, they tend to absorb and retain more information and continue their learning long after anyone has mandated their involvement, says Joey Schueler, Director of Operations. “We see Y STEM and Chess Inc. as a catalyst for this type of learning, as exampled by the youth themselves who look forward to each and every program session in our Clubs."
Y Stem and Chess Inc. focuses on introducing and engaging socially and economically under-served children to the world of STEM. Their goal is to provide these students the skills, knowledge, and opportunity to enter into STEM career paths, while assisting in solving the critical shortage of STEM-skilled citizens in our community. Their program is open to all girls regardless of their socioeconomic status. YSC hopes to provide the kids they serve with the social and intellectual tools to function and participate fully in all aspects of 21st Century Society.
For the better part of 2018, YSC taught chess to Boys & Girls Club members twice a week. They are at the Moseley Center in Garden City every Tuesday and Thursday this summer, teaching kids how to play chess. Chess and programming are different sides of the same coin, offering the same fundamental skills required to be successful in any STEM career. A chess match requires creative problem-solving on the fly because an opponent is constantly changing the parameters. In order to be good programmers and STEM professionals, students have to have a strong command of the creative side of their brains while also having the ability to problem solve. The problem presented in Chess is how to quickly checkmate the king while avoiding a checkmate from your opponent. This constant struggle forces players to think fast while implementing their strategy—much like any STEM career.
"I look forward to seeing the continuing progression of our students and what they can achieve if they work hard. It makes my day when I see our students excited for Chess club," says Devin Nakano, Founder and Executive Director of Y Stem and Chess Inc.
"Ventive has been incubating Y Stem and Chess Inc. over the last year and I have been personally advising and mentoring Devin as the Founder of Ventive. I have seen, firsthand, Devin’s day in and day out commitment and focused dedication to the Y STEM & Chess mission.
I have personally attended his classes and seen the impact he is having on the lives of these kids, expanding their horizons and giving them exposure to STEM that they would never otherwise experience. Y STEM and Chess Inc. has the ability to change how we identify, educate and mentor future STEM professionals. Y STEM and Chess Inc is building the tech pipeline that everyone wants but no one knows how to build until now.
We can fill the jobs of tomorrow, today, by investing in Y STEM and Chess Inc, while demonstrating a powerful method of escaping poverty. The future is bright for Y STEM and Chess Inc. I’m honored to be the first to publicly recognize its impact and to financially and operationally support its mission.