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8-Year-Old Homeless Boy Wins Chess Tournament, Pulls Family out of Poverty

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

  • 2019 Mar 29

After winning the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship, a homeless 8-year-old boy and his family were able to find a home.

According to CBN News, Tanitoluwa Adewumi and his family fled West Africa in 2017 because of the mass amount of violence inflicted on locals by Boko Haram militants. The family was able to obtain asylum in New York City.

While the family was thankful to have been welcomed into America, they realized they had nowhere to go, so the Adewumi family moved into a local homeless shelter. During their time in the shelter, 8-year-old Tanitoluwa decided to teach himself chess to pass the time and he quickly began to excel at the game.

One year later, Tanitoluwa Adewumi decided to compete in the 52ndNew York State Scholastic Chess Championship tournament. To his excitement, Adewumi won the tournament, but what he didn’t know was that the best was yet to come. 

The Adewumis were able to set up a GoFundMe page following the tournament and because of the press coverage from the chess tournament, people from around the country flooded the page to make donations to the family in need. In just under two weeks, the page was able to raise $254,430 for the Adewumis, a sum of money that would allow the family to find a place to live other than of the homeless shelter.

According to the GoFundMe page, Tanitoluwa’s dad, Kayode Adewumi shared that God had provided the family with a home to live in, legal assistance and jobs.

According to CBN News, the Adewumi family credits God for keeping them alive during this season in their lives. For this reason, the family is planning on tithing ten percent of the money raised to their local church, which, according to CBN News, played a huge role in helping them find their bearings.

Now, the family is working to give back to other immigrant families and families in need. 

On the fundraiser page, Kayode Adewumi wrote, “So we take our blessing and give them back to God and to the World.” He continued, “We are to create the TANITOLUWA ADEWUMI FOUNDATION- ‘to share the generosity of others to those in need.’”

The foundation is set to launch next week. You can find out more information here.

Photo courtesy: Louis Hansel/Unsplash