Paying it Forward: Local teenager hopes to inspire kids through chess

"Chess to me is a game of beauty."

Evan Mathura has been playing chess since he was 5 years old.

"My father actually taught me and I fell in love with the game and I've been playing it ever since."

The 17-year-old is the president of the chess club at Windermere High School.

"It is just a beautiful mix of so many different things from strategy to psychology."

A month ago it became his mission to spread the beauty of chess by paying it forward to as many kids as possible.

Evan donated 100 chess sets to "Embrace Families."

"We have never been given a donation like that before," said Sharon Nelson. 

Embrace Families oversees the more than 3,000 children who are in the foster care system in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.

"A lot of kids have never played chess before so it's really cool!  It's an opportunity to do something new and unique and to learn some new skill set. From gameplay to reading body language."

"Chess has helped me a lot, and I hope it does the same for these kids: that is patience, perseverance, sportsmanship, and camaraderie."

Over the past month, Evan has donated nearly 550 chess sets to kids across Central Florida, including 100 sets to a juvenile detention center in Tampa. He uses his own money that he makes by giving private chess lessons to buy the chess sets and he raises additional funds through his GoFundMe page.

His hope is to get even more donations so he can pay it forward in an even bigger way in the future.

"I would like to see this go nationally to children who need it. We have to embrace families here. Hopefully, we can go to their states with similar organizations."

To donate, visit his GoFundMe page HERE.