Tani's New Home: A Refugee Finds Hope and Kindness in America
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About the Author
Tani Adewumi is the eight-year-old Nigerian-born boy who recently won the NY State Chess Championship after playing the game for only a year. Tani and his family's story begins amidst Boko Haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria and takes them to a New York City homeless shelter, where they waited to be granted religious asylum. Tani's father, who came from a royal Nigerian family, became a dishwasher and Uber driver to support his family. His mother, whose family owned the largest printing press in Nigeria and had been working at a bank for over a decade, trained to become a home-aid. So, when Tani asked to join the chess program at PS 116, which required a fee, it seemed unlikely. His mother wrote to the coach, who offered Tani a scholarship. Miracles led Tani and his family to New York. As Tani's father puts it, "There are many times in my life where I thought this must be the miracle and yet, I did not know that the miracle had not yet begun."
Courtney is a freelance illustrator with a great love for drawing, reading, and most kinds of ice cream. She has a background in animation and a deep love for picture books. She works both digitally and traditionally, gouache being her favorite medium. She is inspired by the world around us and all the good in it. She loves to work on projects that are empowering, inclusive, and whimsical. She loves rainy days and painting to Sam Cooke.