Rochelle, 13

8th grade

Having found chess at I.S. 318 to be a boy’s club, Rochelle was driven to prove she could not only be a formidable opponent against her male peers, she could outdo them. Three years later, her name sits atop the list of I.S. 318?s best players. Now Rochelle has her sights set even higher: She’s determined to become the first African-American female master in the history of chess. Her goal requires that she strike a careful – and difficult – balance between her demanding academic routine and grueling chess practice schedule.