ASAP Fall Appeal: Chess Alumni Feature

ASAP Alumni Harrison Sanford gives back to chess program

As ASAP enters its third decade, there’s a proud lineage of ASAP alumni, going full-circle and sharing their expertise with the next generation as ASAP club leaders and trainers.

Alumni like Harrison Sanford.

And what’s unique about Harrison Sanford? Not only is he an ASAP Chess alum, but he got his start in chess under the tutelage of ASAP’s new Chess Manager and longtime tournament director, Brad Crable. The two first connected when Harrison was just 4 years-old and at the start of his lifelong chess journey.

On his way to earning a US Chess Federation rating in the 1800s, Harrison credits Brad with going above and beyond to support his chess-skill development by always pushing him to set high ambitions and celebrating his many accomplishments.

Chess Alumni takes on new role

Now a freshman at Temple University, alumni Harrison continues to be mentored by Brad; however, he’s learning a new set of skills as he earns his tournament director certification and becomes an advanced chess trainer. Harrison brings to these new roles a deep understanding of how chess can spark a young mind:

Chess: Beyond the Board

For this alumni, these are skills that can translate off the chessboard as well:

In addition, the game had many social benefits for alumni, Harrison. He says that chess clubs felt like home for him, especially as a kid who changed schools several times. He always found new friends at his ASAP chess club – many of whom are still his close friends today. In fact, he met one of his best friends by beating him in a chess tournament at the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium. No hard feelings though.

But perhaps most importantly, through all his experiences, Harrison believes that chess can help young people develop an affirming sense of identity:

Looking Ahead

What’s up next for this chess alum? He will continue to train new ASAP club leaders in advanced chess skills, mentor students at his former school, J.R. Masterman, all the while studying at Temple University to become a math teacher.

How you can help!

As ASAP looks toward the next 20 years, our rallying call is “After School: We Build Futures,” in recognition of the critical role after school programs and mentors, just like Harrison, Brad, and Amy play in helping young people reach their full potential. And this fall, Thanks to the generosity of the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, every donation made to ASAP before December 31st will be matched up to $25,000! Help ASAP build more futures and create more opportunities for youth in Philadelphia by making a donation and doubling your impact!