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News Release
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Julie Young, Chess Queen and Executive Director of Chess for Success, to retire (Photo) - 02/11/19

Today it is with mixed emotions Chess for Success announces Executive Director Julie Young will retire after 21 years. She will remain in the position until a new Executive Director is hired, and then continue with CFS to both ensure a smooth transition and to continue sharing her passion for the mission as an ambassador.

Julie has been the Executive Director since 1998 and was the first to hold the position. In her first year, she was a part-time employee supporting 32 clubs in Portland Public Schools but soon expanded the mission’s reach by taking responsibility for Oregon’s state scholastic chess championship.

Over the next 20 years she expertly led the growth of the program, increasing our reach to 87 schools in 14 districts covering Oregon and SW Washington. She has built strong partnerships, allowing the program to be found on Native American reservations, therapeutic schools, and the Oregon Youth Authority as well as within the K-12 system. Julie has also expanded the CFS team to include four full-time employees, seven part-time program managers, and over 100 chess coaches. At chess tournaments Julie is best known as the Queen of Chess, as she will often appear in her full regalia to encourage the students to enjoy the game.

In a letter to the board announcing her retirement, Julie writes, ‘This change happens at a wonderful place in time where chess clubs thrive and popularity grows, while also being at the beginning of the next phase of our founders’ dream.’

‘Julie turned our small, local program into a statewide, highly respected educational program that makes the lives of thousands of children better every year. Julie is the heart and soul of Chess for Success and can take much of the credit for what it is today’  according to Phillip Margolin, renowned author and co-founder.

“Thousands of children in Oregon and Southwest Washington have received the benefits of chess thanks to the tireless dedication and devotion of Julie Young. For that, we offer our sincere gratitude.” – Charlie Engelberg, Board President.

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