Meet The ‘South Side Squad’: How Chess Is Keeping Young People In Check And Inspiring Accountants Everywhere

When-to-hire-an-accountant-in-chicagoChicago is a busy city for busy people. With years of experience helping small business owners thrive in their respective fields, Accounting Solutions Ltd. can certainly attest to the fact that our city is certainly a contender for the title of ‘the city that never sleeps’ (sorry, New York). Sometimes the hustle and bustle of every day life can lead to us focusing too much on our careers and bank accounts, things that distract us from those things that truly matter. Taking this into consideration we wish today to draw attention away from taxes and audits in order to discuss a local story that has inspired and awed us.
This story revolves around a girl named Tamya Fultz. Growing up in a rough neighbourhood known for its history of gang violence, this young, well-spoken girl has proven herself to be a prodigy in one of mankind’s oldest and most cherished games- chess. Her skills are so refined that she has been informally dubbed the ‘chess queen of the South’. Despite only being in grade eight, Tamya has not only proven herself to be an exceptional chess master, and even partook in the 2017 Illinois state chess tournament. Few competitors manage to oust their opponents within the first four moves, but this girl has achieved this without batting an eye. Her exploits have already become a part of Chicago lore, and she has inspired countless other students to pick up a board and play. In fact, she currently is one of the lead members of a group of youth, referring to themselves as the ‘South Side Squad’, who consistently train in order to obtain placements and trophies in upcoming tournaments.
As with many champions throughout history, there is a face behind the scenes that can take at least partial credit for Tamya’s successes. This individual is named Joe Ocol, a math teacher of Philippine descent at Earle high school. Concerned by the ongoing prevalence of violence among young people within the neighbourhood, Joe took it upon himself to craft an extracurricular program that could distract from the dark happenings of the city streets. Drawing hungry teens in with the promise of snacks, he soon discovered that some of his protégés possessed unquestionable talent behind the chequered board. Alongside Tamya he has also overseen the training of other ‘South Side Squad’ members, including Taahir Levi, a very young player who has proven that age doesn’t define skill or mental flexibility.
Joe is a prime example of an exceptional human being himself, proving that spirit, resilience, and a bit of competitiveness can help override some of the more troubling components of our world. When Tamya or Taahir are feeling down on themselves after a loss, he is always there to provide positive support and insight. His dedication towards his pupils knows no bounds, and he even takes money out of his own pocket in order to fund trips to tournaments and competitions.
This last point brings us to the real focus of this article- these students need funding to keep doing what they love. Joe Ocol has already sacrificed thousands of dollars to keep students engaged, going above and beyond in order to push his anti-violence agenda. Sadly, the ‘South Side Squad’ is currently being faced with a lack of funds, and the program is in jeopardy. Today, we here at Accounting Solutions Ltd. wish to make a proposal to you, dear reader. We propose that if you find the aforementioned story to be as inspiring as we do, to kindly donate through the following website. Not only will these donations lead towards keeping our youth off the streets, they will also contribute towards shaping a new generation that is intelligent and self-sufficient, therefore acting as an investment in the future of our busy, busy city. As far as donating from our own pockets is concerned… check… and… mate.