Tag: Rochelle Ballantyne

#GirlsCan: Soledad O’Brien Teams Up With Covergirl To Empower Young Women To Break Barriers (VIDEO)

Soledad O'Brien Partners with #GirlsCan for Cover Girl (photo via hollywoodreporter.com)
Soledad O’Brien Partners with #GirlsCan for Covergirl (photo via hollywoodreporter.com)

Covergirl has recently launched the second year of their #GirlsCan movement and celebrated it with a video series, produced by journalist and documentarian, Soledad O’Brien. This Covergirl program is a movement with a mission to empower young women to overcome barriers, break boundaries and be the next generation to rock the world!

“Women today are out there breaking barriers and setting records in all sectors of their lives but are still facing challenges that many people wouldn’t expect in the new millennium,” said Soledad O’ Brien. “We are so excited to work with Covergirl and share our series on how these courageous women are changing society. Their struggles are all real and relatable while their stories are inspiring.”

At a time when girls are preparing to go back to school and they, along with their mothers and fathers, are thinking about the future, Covergirl aims to inspire more women and girls to strive to make strides in areas where women are currently underrepresented, from technology and engineering, to media and sports, to entrepreneurship and beyond.

In the first year of #GirlsCan, as part of the $5 million-over-five-years donation, Covergirl collaborated with two non-profit partners to help impact change including Girls Who Code and Soledad O’Brien + Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation.

O’Brien’s Covergirl video series features powerful stories of four women who have faced challenges, forged ahead and defied the odds to achieve their dreams, setting an example for many other women to follow. The pioneering women featured in the series include:

Covergirl Becky G, an inspiring young Latina rap star, who has broken through on the charts in a male-dominated industry.

Geena Rocero, a transgender woman who has not only graced the cover of top magazines and ads for fashion brands, but is also an entrepreneur with her own production company.

Tina Garnanez, a former female military veteran coping with PTSD, who fought for years in the military, where women make up just 15 percent of the population.

Rochelle Ballantyne, college student, and currently the closest female in the United States to achieving the chess title of “Master” —there are only 50 female masters out of 846 in the US!

The series is available to view on the COVERGIRL YouTube channel.

article by Danielle Young via hellobeautiful.com

First African-American Female Chess Master Could Be Brooklyn Girl

Rochelle Ballantyne is a 17 year-old teenage girl from Brooklyn who is on her way to becoming the first Black female chess master. Ballantyne is one among a group of teens from I.S. 318 middle school in Brooklyn who will be the stars of a new documentary called “Brooklyn Castle”. The documentary chronicles the outstanding achievements of the middle school students.

65 percent of the students at I.S. 318 middle school in Brooklyn are living below the federal poverty level but the school still holds close to 30 national championships and is the highest ranked junior high team in the country. Rochelle is unique because until she joined the team, all the champions had been boys.

Ballantyne has been profiled in Teen Vogue where she shared her story and how she has stayed motivated along her amazing journey to chess stardom. The Brooklyn teen says that her grandmother is the woman behind much of her success.

She says:

“My grandmother taught me to play when I was in the third grade. I was really active as a child, and she wanted to find a way to keep me relaxed and get my brain going. When I first started playing, she introduced to me the idea of being the first African-American female chess master. I didn’t think about it much because for me it seemed like an impossible feat, and I didn’t think it could happen. I wasn’t as focused and dedicated as I am now. I didn’t think I was a good chess player—people told me I was, but it wasn’t my mentality at that moment. But then after she died, that really affected me, because she was the one person that always had confidence in me. She never pushed me, and she always respected me for who I was. I have to reach that goal for her.”

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