13 Year Old Blind Chess Player Wins Technology Award for Phone App!
San Jose, CA 5/2/16- Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) is proud to announce that their thirteen year old student Emmanuel Bard of San Jose, CA won the Inspiring Youth Entrepreneur Award for his phone app concept for EyeMenu. Emmanuel suffers from optic atrophy; the optic nerve in his brain is damaged and makes him legally blind. This prevents him from clearly reading menus at restaurants when he goes out to eat with his mother Emilie Bard. The HHCF is a 510c3 the first nonprofit to fuse chess, martial arts and music to promote unity, strategy and non-violence. Their unique fusion of art and has been featured in Forbes, Good Morning America, Black Enterprise and KPIX News.
EyeMenu was Emmanuel’s solution to the problem he faces in restaurants. Emmanuel’s EyeMenu App is a phone application that will allow him to see enlarged text of menu items and prices or read menu section and prices using the screen reading software that all phones provide. His idea has been covered in DeBug Magazine as well as the San Jose Tech Museum. Young Bard has been a participant in the HHCF Chess & Entrepreneurship classes for two months, but has been with the organization for four years. In their weekly classes his mentor, HHCF Founder and author Adisa Banjoko has been assisting Emmanuel on mapping out his app concept, functionality and marketing . “We recognized immediately that the EyeMenu idea was something the world needed. It is not meant to be an app with a ton of cool graphics. It is a utilitarian to help people navigate through their day with more ease. We know EyeMenu will change the world. ”
He presented his concept on stage with his mother at the Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Festival where several young entrepreneurs shared their ideas with the panel of judges. Emmanuel’s story moved the judges and the audience deeply. His mother, Emilie Bard stated “I’m very proud of Emmanuel for pushing forward with his concept. His mentor from HHCF was instrumental in helping him cultivate his idea and raise his confidence working on his pitch and telling his story. We look forward to the next stages of actualizing the app.”
Emmanuel also participate with his brother in the Hip-Hop Chess Federations’ Chess & Jiu-Jitsu Program. In that class students learn chess and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu concepts in the same class. This fusion gives students a unique balance of physical and emotional control. When asked about how chess and business work together Emmanuel stated “When you have the mind of the entrepreneur you have the mind of playing chess. You have to use different strategies to win” he said with a smile.
The HHCF recently announced a new summer camp where kids can study chess and entrepreneurship, jiu-jitsu, dance and TV and Film. To learn more about the HHCF summer camp or donate to the Hip-Hop Chess Federation visit today!