An 8-year-old chess champion who garnered national attention after winning the New York State chess champion title for his age division has finally found a home. Tanitoluwa Adewumi—a native of Nigeria whose family fled from Africa to the U.S. to escape the Boko Haram extremist group—has moved into an apartment with his loved ones, the New York Times reported.
Adewumi and his family came to America two years ago and had been living in a homeless shelter ever since, the news outlet writes. Despite the circumstances, the youngster didn’t let his family’s situation deter him from greatness. The third-grader quickly became enamored by the game of chess after learning how to play a year ago and started participating in competitive matches. He joined the chess club at his Manhattan elementary school and through the leadership of his coach Shawn Martinez he was able to reach new heights in the game. Cognizant of the youngster’s financial situation, the school waived the participation fees. Adewumi received free three-hour training sessions in Harlem. In his case, practice made perfect. He ended up winning the New York State Chess Championship title for the kindergarten through third-grade division.
The national attention that he garnered for himself and his school also put the focus on his family’s unfortunate situation. There was a GoFundMe campaign launched in an effort to help his family find a permanent home. To date, the crowdfunding campaign has raised over $200,000 in a week. The family has since moved into a two-bedroom apartment not too far from Adewumi’s school. They plan on using the money to create a fund called the Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation which will help African immigrants in the U.S. who are struggling to make ends meet.
“Anybody who is coming from Africa who is in the position we were in, we will help them. I want to release my blessing to others,” Adewumi’s father Kayode told the news outlet. “Anybody who is coming from Africa who is in the position we were in, we will help them.” Tanitoluwa hopes to one day become the youngest chess grandmaster. He has received scholarships from a few prestigious schools and was invited to meet former president Bill Clinton at his office in Harlem.