At just fourteen years old, Orrin Hudson was headed down a trail went by countless young black men in his neighborhood. In the Birmingham, Alabama, housing project he called home--along with 12 siblings-Hudson cured his teenager boredom by taking and selling inner tubes. There weren't many outlets in his community and even less people who cared about yet one more black male meant to go into the penal system. That was, till Hudson met James Edge, a white English teacher in his all black high-school. "He explained to me that each action has an effect. He then taught me the game of life through chess," recounted Hudson. "I was voted most responsible to achieve success and amazing student in my senior year. On graduation, I received a chess book from Mr. Edge. The turning point in my life was when I learned that no-one was coming to my rescue. Chess taught me that for my game to boost, I had to get better and for my life to get better I want to get better."
After highschool, Hudson served in the Air Force, worked as an Alabama state infantryman, and for a short time, owned Hudson's car Sales. But the relationship he developed with his prior teacher galvanized him to reach out to younger folk. He remembered how playing chess let him and his coach to form a life-altering bond. So, fitted out with faith and his savings of $20,000, Hudson set up Be Someone Inc. (www.besomeone.org ). "I selected chess to enfranchise youth to make good decisions. There, they're taught that each move counts, whether positive or negative.
It is critical for me to be certain they make a positive move," claims Hudson, Birmingham's 1999 and 2,000 citywide chess champion.
"Chess teaches you that planning, info, viewpoint, abilities, and persistence all have special worth to the successful person." Hudson builds interest in his organization, which was set up in 2001, by hosting chess events at churches, shopping colonnades, and varsities in bankrupt and well off communities in metro Atlanta and national. He oversees a staff of 30 volunteers. According to Georgia trick cycle rider Irma Best, fresh methods to reach kids have a durable impact. "It's especially crucial to show bankrupt kids to other segments of society, help increase their self-worth, and expand their world view." For John Alexander, eleven, a student at Wynbrooke junior school in Stone Mountain, Georgia, playing chess with Hudson is challenging him to be a critical thinker in systems his school can't. "He teaches me the game of life through chess," says the 6th grader. "He taught me that you've got to work with other folks like the pieces to a chess game.
You need to go through teachers to get an education, work with instructors to get a degree, and work with bosses to get a job.".