Keyshun Curry is a senior at Paducah Tilghman. He plays football and is a member of the chess team, where he has had great success. He’s been playing chess since he was five years old and his rating is 1000! iMeet this intellectual student who is an example to others, inside and outside of the classroom.
Welcome to iMeet, Keyshun. Tell us about yourself and your family...
I am a senior at Paducah Tilghman High School. I was born in Mississippi where I lived with my mother and brother until 2008, My mother relocated to Paducah and we came her with her. My father, Micheal Curry, continues to reside in Mississippi. My brother, Micheal T. Curry, also known as Micheal “Crank” Curry, is a recent graduate of Southeast Missouri University and owner of the newly opened Fingerprint Urban Dance Studios in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
You are a senior at PTHS. What are your plans after high school?
After high school I plan to attend a four year university and major in education. II’m looking forward to working in the field of education because it gives me great pride to work with youth, encouraging them to be their best.
During the summers I volunteer at Camp Lake Stephens in Oxford, Mississippi as a Counselor in Training, working with youth ages 7-14 and adults with special needs. My experiences in working with youth have shown me that everyone has problems regardless of their background and everyone can have a relationship with God, whether rich, or poor, if it is their desire.
You are a member of the chess team. How did you learn to play chess? You've only been on the team for two years...did you just start playing recently?
At the age of five, my brother taught me how to play chess, but at that time I didn't take much interest in the game. When I was 12 years old I would meet my brother at Tilghman to compete with his classmates - this is what sparked my passion for the game. I became infatuated with the strategies and tactics of chess.
In reading several books about chess, my knowledge of the game increased and I could see growth in my abilities. During my junior year Tilghman established a new chess team, and I had to join.
I heard that you set two personal goals for yourself at the Daviess County Scholastic Chess Tournament in November. Tell us about that...
For the past two years I have participated in competitive chess among my peers and occasionally members of the community. In the beginning it was a struggle to get acclimated to the strength of the competition. By the end of the chess season in 2018, I recognized my improvement and began to excel by winning more games. I set a goal to become a better, more strategic player, vowing to practice throughout the summer.
When I came back at the beginning of the 2018-2019 season I began to dominate in team competition, placing second and third. My first scholastic competition win came at the Daviess County Scholastic Chess tournament in November. On the way to my first win my team got 2nd place and my United States Chess Federation rating finally hit the 1000 mark. This became a huge accomplishment for me.
Are you involved in any other extra-curricular clubs, groups, or sports at school?
In addition to playing chess, I play football and serve as an ambassador for Paducah Tilghman. I am very active in community activities. During 2017-2018 school year I participated in Paducah Chamber of Commerce YouthLead and McCracken 4-H Teen Leadership.
For the second year, I am an ambassador for Paducah Bank, a Paxton Scholar, and a 3E Leadership Academy scholar. I have participated in several community service activities such as George Wilson Toys of Tots, City of Paducah Pretty Super Hero Meet and Greet, Lourdes Teen Volunteers and Stuff the Bus to name a few. In addition to serving as a counselor in training as Camp Lake Stephens, during the summers I also attended 4-H Camp as a youth counselor as well as a participant of Kentucky Boys State.
Wow, that's a ton of community service, Keychun. Do you have any goals for yourself in 2019?
Ever since I can remember, the game of football has been my biggest passion. I love the game! From the different schemes, skills, plays, and including the atmosphere around the game. At the age of eight is when I began learning more about the sport. It started with little league football, and continued to the high school varsity team.
With each year my knowledge of the game grows. It has been my dream to coach NFL football. Football has aided in my development as a disciplined and determined young man, teaching me valuable lessons I will carry into my adulthood.
What's your favorite subject in school?
As far as my academic career, I have taken several AP and dual credit classes to help me prepare for college. I can say, human geography has been my favorite subject. The class talks in depth about the diverse cultures around the world and the many changes that go on in our world today. I have always been intrigued by the different “worlds” far away from home. Human geography taught me the changing demographics, cultures, and people of the world.
If you had to choose one PTHS teacher who has influenced you the most, who would it be and why?
Hmm, thats an hard question as most of them have been great. The teacher that has influenced and challenged me the most is my junior year AP English teacher, Mrs. Hancock, teaching me useful study skills and writing techniques.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I describe my personality as laid back and comical. I enjoy relaxing and “people watching”. I consider myself friendly and open-minded. I cannot think of any peer group I cannot or do not engage with.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is for anyone to eat off my plate.
What’s your favorite food?
My favorite food is hot wings; I prefer them extremely hot - almost unbearable to eat. My favorite spot to get hot wings is Wing Stop. I also have a humongous “sweet tooth”. One of my childhood names was “Willy Wonka “because I enjoy almost any type of candy.