Bipeds of Brookland: Isaiah.
Isaiah started playing chess when he was very young. He remembers playing often with a Boy Scout leader at the old coffee shop on 12th Street. He also played on the chess club while a student at Elsie Whitlow Stokes PCS in Brookland. “Chess was more than a game for me, it had complexity and that’s what drew me to it.”
Isaiah graduated from School Without Walls and just finished his first semester at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), “I’m getting a BS in Mathematics. I was thinking of doing a dual in Math and Physics but the coursework is a lot.” He has always enjoyed math. “In Kindergarten, I knew how to count by 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s without them telling me how. As I moved up I realized the math in classes was super easy. I’d just sit in math and one time I actually fell asleep.”
He chose UMBC because it graduated many STEM majors and had a culture that he thought fit him. “It’s cool to be the smart kid. The chess team has a lot of rep, almost more so than the sports teams.”
Isaiah would still like to play lacrosse at UMBC, as he did in high school.
Isaiah grew up in Brookland across from Bunker Hill Park. “I liked that it was quiet. All the neighbors are friendly. During the winter we would sled down that hill.” He remembers visiting many homes on the annual Brookland Home and Garden Tour. “I actually met a friend that way and we’ve been friends ever since.” He has enjoyed the new restaurants in the area but, “one thing I dislike, is neighbors leaving. There were a couple of people my age in the neighborhood and they’re just gone.”
Isaiah believes he may pursue a PhD in math so he can be a professor. “I really like teaching. Working and helping people with math, I’ve always enjoyed that. That's what I’d consider my ideal job.”
Bipeds of Brookland: A weekly series introducing the people who make Brookland their home, one step at a time.
Article and photo by Tom Sabella.