Lemuel “Life” LaRoche

Social Worker, Poet, Activist

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Lemuel “Life” LaRoche is the founder and executive director of Chess and Community Conference, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth empowerment organisation dedicated to developing strategic leadership skills in young people. Known in the communities that he serves as Life the Griot, he fuses chess with conventional therapeutic methods to curb impulsive behaviour amongst youth with delinquent pasts. Life has over fifteen years experience in adolescent and community development and brings a fresh innovative approach to counselling. His impact is felt in schools, prisons, and impoverished neighbourhoods across Northeast Georgia. He is the subject of Life the Griot (2014), a documentary highlighting the work that he has accomplished in Athens, Georgia, and the surrounding areas.
Life was listed as one of Athens’ exceptional community leaders in 2013 and his organisation has been featured in Georgia Magazine. He is the recent recipient of the President’s fulfilling the Dream Award, an award developed to honour those of the Athens and a of Georgia community who have dedicated their lives to carrying out the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Life is also internationally renowned for his poetry, which he uses as a tool for empowerment, reconditioning, and community outreach. He is the author of two books, Tree of Life: The Human Ascension and Hidden Ripples: Life’s Unspoken Language. Life holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. 

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Dominic Zangrillo
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Dominic Zangrillo

I had the privilege of meeting life in Costa Rica and he is a powerful being. He is a magician with the words and his poetry flows majestically. His message touched my heart and I often see him doing the work within his community. Teaching the children to think before they move and utilizing the game of chess as a tool to provide deep lessons. It’s an honor to say that I shared space with this being.

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