PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The library at Pittsburgh Public Schools' Lincoln Elementary is a vibrant welcoming space packed with possibilities.
On the day KDKA-TV visited, dozens of kids were picking up the pieces and making moves with The Queens Gambit Chess Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by 23-year-old Ashley Priore when she was just 14 years old.
The game of chess is a means to her charitable mission to elevate a new generation of strategic, inclusive and civically-minded young leaders who may not have otherwise been exposed to the game.
"We know that chess can help with academics. And we know that it can help grow the dendrites in your brain, making you smarter, but we're really focused on the strategy component," explained Priore. "How can these kids become leaders and grow and flourish and feel like chess isn't just a tool to have fun with but a tool that they can use in their own lives for whatever they're passionate about?"
And now, with the recent creation of The Queens Gambit Impact Fund during Chess Week in the city of Pittsburgh, she and her team of instructors will be able to reach even more children.
"So they're growing in various ways and it's not just the fundamental chess that helped them," said Priore. "It's that they had those relationships and they're like, 'oh it's possible to do something that I want to do.'"
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