West of Ninth: People, in their own words…

Corbin, director, West Louisville Chess Club, Russell
Aug. 13, 2018
“Where did my interest in chess stem from? I’d have to say my daughter, Sarah. She’s my first child and only child. I introduced her to chess when she was 6. She started participating in tournaments at the age of 7. I wanted to introduce her to chess because there are a lot of studies that show if a student gets involved and stays in chess, it’ll help improve their reading skills and math skills. That’s one thing that I really wanted for her. Reading wasn’t an issue, because she’s a bibliophile, like her dad and mom.

I remember when she walked in the library in Boone County and looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, I’m in heaven.”. The math was an issue. We weren’t strong in math. My friend told me to get her in chess and it’ll help her with the math and it did.

I saw what it did for Sarah and I wanted to introduce chess to other kids and that was it. In September 2010, I went into it, with the encouragement of Dr. Anthony Middleton, from Cable Baptist Church and I haven’t looked back since.

Our vision is to become the most successful urban chess program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In order to accomplish that, we need the financial material resources. We have to get the students to tournaments, bring in other trainers and keep solid training materials. Our biggest challenge, right now, is raising money to get to the nationals. Secondly, I would like to raise money to be able to compensate our coaches for their time. Thirdly, it doesn’t hurt to have more clocks. We could use more clocks.

We’re looking to be the best, and we’re going to maintain the program. When I’m dead and buried, I want this program to continue to be the best.”

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Nisha

Nisha (with Mykah), Russell
July 30, 2018
“I like The West End. It just makes me feel like I’m home. I haven’t had a negative experience. Nobody’s every robbed me or anything like that. It’s been good. I even love that my daughter can grow up and be around people that look like her.

One of my favorite places in the West is the Urban League. I love that place. It has been an amazing place for me and my daughter. Everything you need, no matter what, you can get it there. We need more places like the Urban League. We need more places that really take care of the people within the community. If we had more places that focus on the youth, the homeless and mental health, we would have a better community.

My goal is to have a place and program that’ll help get the youth off the streets. I’m trying to figure out how to do that and then I’ll execute. I want to have a place where the homeless youth can come to and focus on something positive and have another outlet.

I want people to be more positive and do everything with love. Know that there are good people out here, and not everybody’s negative. Smile more and show more love.” •

West of Ninth began as a Louisville photography blog, westofninth.com, by two Russell residents, Walt and Shae Smith. With a love for their community, they see the value and potential of all nine neighborhoods that make West Louisville. Armed with a Nikon DSLR, a recorder and the ability to never meet a stranger, their goal is to show the attributes that make West of Ninth the greatest.

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