[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
60°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


Audio book cover

Phiona Mutesi may have grown up in the slums of Katwe, near Kampala, Uganda, but that didn’t stop her from becoming a fast-rising international chess star and a hope to other children in similar situations.

During her brief visit to Southern California this month, the 16-year-old Mutesi is scheduled to come to Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia and speak to their chess players, bringing her inspirational story to a group of students who can only imagine what she has experienced.

The event, presented by the U.S. Chess Federation, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mutesi and her Coach Robert Katende will lead a question and answer session, followed by a quick summary of her best chess moves (presented by Chess Expert and Trinity Coach Jay Stallings) in the 2012 Women’s Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. The event will conclude with a simultaneous exhibition in which she will play several Trinity students at the same time.

Phiona Mutesi’s story began in the Katwe slum, one of the poorest areas in Uganda, where women are valued for little more than childbearing and AIDS is rampant. Phiona grew up sleeping in a decrepit shack with her mother and three siblings. Her father died of AIDS. Phiona has been out of school most of her life because her mother cannot afford it, and she has often struggled to find a single meal each day.

When she first followed her brother to the church where Katende was teaching chess to local children, she was only interested in the free bowl of porridge he offered. Later Mutesi would grow to love the game itself, a game that would take her to Sudan, Turkey, Russia and now the United States.

She won the Women’s Junior Chess Championship of Uganda three times and this year was named the African Chess Champion.

“The students and families at Trinity are very excited to meet Ms. Mutesi and Mr. Katende,” said Trinity Headmaster Liz Caddow.

“Our chess coach, Jay Stallings has told his students about Ms. Mutesi, and I hear that she is a very strong player,” said Elementary principal Jeff Kulp.

“We’re thrilled to have her come out, because she’s bringing with her a message that you can accomplish anything in life, no matter where you come from,” Stallings said. “She started in the slums of Katwe in Uganda, living on the streets and having to wonder every day where her next meal was coming from. Now, she’s gotten this far just by sheer will and tenacity and ability to be very strong at what she’s doing.”

Though the Trinity students are excited to learn from Mutesi and have experience playing against an international champion, her story is about so much more than just chess.

“I hope that the kids realize how fortunate they are in their lives,” Stallings added. “I think a lot of times when we grow up in a community like this, we don’t realize just how fortunate we are. I also want them to realize that they have the potential within themselves to accomplish so much if they work hard like Phiona has, and that they can really do whatever they want and accomplish great things, especially with the resources that we have available. Phiona didn’t have that and look what she’s done.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Trinity Classical Academy at 661-296-2601.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


LOCAL SCHOOL LINKS
Related Content
LATEST SCHOOL NEWS
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
High school seniors whose dream is to make a difference in the world by majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) are invited to apply for Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program.
Monday, Oct 16, 2017
The Newhall School District's next Regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 17 at 6:15 p.m., and consideration of Newhall Family Theater approvals are on the agenda.
Friday, Oct 13, 2017
The William S. Hart Union High School District is looking for someone to become a personnel commissioner to serve a three-year term beginning December 1, 2017.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
County, City Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Dreamation Craft Guild will be hosting a boutique at Canyon High School, Nov. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to benefit the family of John Phippen, the Santa Clarita resident who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Nov. 18: Holiday Marketplace Benefiting John Phippen Family
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
The fall 2017 Star Party at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country campus on Friday, Oct. 27 will focus on the pathways to space exploration that exist for star-gazers who are captivated by the many mysteries of the universe.
Oct. 27: Star Party at COC Canyon Country Campus
Determined to transform the deeply troubled Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to consider an independent entity that would provide guidance, oversight and accountability.
Supes Consider Entity for Probation Reform Guidance, Oversight, Accountability
Alexia Cina of Canyon Country was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of a mother of six children in a head-on crash on Golden Valley Road on October 6.
Woman Charged with Manslaughter, DUI in Death of Mother of 6
The 22nd annual Santa Clarita Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2017, following the Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday.
Nov. 4-5: 22nd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon Events
The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series following Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field.
Dodgers Out to Sweep Cubs in NLCS Game 4
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Dmitry Barkon Earns Medal of Valor
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
High School Seniors: ‘Race to Submit’ is on for 2018 College Financial Aid
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies interrupted a smash-and-grab burglary on The Old Road early Friday morning, arresting one suspect and seeking two alleged accomplices still at large.
SCV Deputies Catch Window-Smash Burglars in the Act
Pukúu Cultural Community Services, founded in 1971 by members of the local Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, will host its 13th Annual scholarship gala fundraiser, "Night with the Stars," in Sunland on Saturday, November 4 starting at 6 p.m.
Nov. 4: Local Tribe Honors 3, Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
California's Attorney General today filed a motion to compel the federal government to follow the law and pay the subsidies that millions of Americans rely on to lower the out-of-pocket costs in their insurance plans.
California AG Fights to Keep ACA Cost-Sharing Subsidies
Santa Clarita business owners are encouraged to take the city's broadband feasibility study online survey and participate in the next phase of the study -- in-person focus groups scheduled for October 30.
Oct. 30: Focus Groups in Next Phase of City Broadband Study
The $17 billion "California WaterFix" project reached a tipping point Tuesday after a Silicon Valley water district voted against Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach in favor of a less expensive, scaled-back version.
Silicon Valley Water Board Wants Delta Tunnels Downsized
Maryama, a band led by CalArts alumna Maryama Mirbagheri (Music MFA 17), was recently nominated for a 2017 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category.
Maryama Nominated for Hollywood Music in Media Award
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in response to President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has declared Oct. 16-20 "DACA Advocacy Week."
California Community Colleges Ramp Up DACA Advocacy
COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Oct. 21: 2017 College and Career Fair at COC
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based painter Sheldon Figoten in a one-person exhibition of new paintings, “Light Fields,” opening Saturday, Oct. 28.
Oct. 28: Sheldon Figoten ‘Light Fields’ at COC Art Gallery
The Santa Clarita Artists Association held its 28th Annual Art Classic fine arts competition at William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall in Newhall on October 14.
Santa Clarita Artists Association Names Winners in 2017 Art Classic
Here is the Castaic-Val Verde Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 25 through October 1.
Crime Blotter: Arson, Burglary, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
California and New Mexico launched a fresh challenge Tuesday against the Trump administration’s repeal of higher royalty payments to states for oil, gas and coal leases on public lands.
California, New Mexico Challenge White House Favors to Oil, Gas, Coal
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of October 2 to October 8.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Canyon Country East (Zone 8) Crime Information and Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 24 through October 8, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Vehicle Theft, Burglary in Canyon Country East
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
CSUN Just Eight Shots Off Pace At Washington Invitational
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
SCV Students Gain Knowledge, Advice at National Manufacturing Day
A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
Accurate Freight Systems Expands, Leases Space at IAC Commerce Center
The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
DVC of SCV Currently Accepting Adopt-a-Family 2017 Applications
Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Nov. 4: Major Impact Theater Presents Blunderland
California State University, Northridge will make history on Thursday, Oct. 26, by becoming the first California State University with a Sustainability Center.
Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
Oct. 21: Purple Walk of Strength to Benefit Domestic Violence Center
Raising a child is a demanding job for any parent, especially when supportive resources seem to be elusive or nonexistent.
Oct. 22: CSUN Hosts Special Needs Resource Fair