A person’s circumstance does not always define who they are. This is especially true for those in the South Bridge area of Wilmington, DE. While it is undoubtedly difficult for children growing up amongst drugs and violence, many children have found refuge by refusing to let their hardships negatively shape their character.
Johnny Means, a teenage resident of Wilmington, is helping improve the quality of life for many children in the local community. Providing mentorship and guidance, he volunteers his time and energy to the local community center. What started out as simply giving his insight and helping children with their homework, has grown into an entirely new project. Combining his love for the game of chess, with his devotion to others, Means created a program teaching children the techniques of chess playing.
Chess, a game of skill and intellect, has a lot of positive benefits. In an attempt to combat the hardships of their circumstance, Means knows that these children need a positive distraction, and chess is just that.
“Chess is more than just a game,” said Johnny’s mother, Joann Means. “Chess helps with your academics and in life. You have to think before you move, so it helps you strategize and build patience, which is key when you’re making real life decisions.”
Working with outlets like the Neighborhood House and the Wilmington Parks & Recreation department, Means’ chess initiative has engaged hundreds of children all throughout Wilmington. Means is not just teaching a game he loves, he is helping transform a community he loves as well.