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Hampton Roads Community News

Quarantined Teens Participate In A First Ever Virtual NAACP ACTSO Competition

HAMPTON ROADS
The first virtual NAACP ACTSO Awards Ceremony was held on Sunday May 31, 2020. The theme was “Quarantined Teens Meeting the Challenges of the Pandemic Without Pandemonium.” The National NAACP ACTSO Director, Mr. Larry Brown, joined in as the keynote speaker and delivered an inspiring message.  All nine hopeful students won gold medals, positioning themselves to advance to the Virtual 42nd Annual NAACP ACTSO National Competition in July 2020.

Competing and winning students were Jalyn White, Jy’Mir Starks, and Deovionn Gaylor, who qualified to compete nationally in 2019 in Detroit, MI. and returned in the 2020 competitors. Additionally Zion Hicks, Lindsey Turner, Aderonke Adelekee, Amirat Kadri, Ayana Askew and Kamryn Haynes were first time competitors.

Although this is the first year the competition is taking place virtually, these competitions have been held annually, two days prior to the NAACP National Convention, since 1978. ACT-SO was founded in 1978 by author and journalist Vernon Jarrett (1918-2004). The program was intended to give recognition to young people who could demonstrate academic, scientific, and artistic achievement, allowing them to gain recognition equal to that often achieved by entertainers and athletes. 

The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), informally named the “Olympics of the Mind,” is a youth program of the NAACP that is “designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students. The year-long program recognizes and awards young people who have demonstrated academic and cultural achievement. Gold, silver, and bronze medals, along with cash awards, are awarded to winners in each of 32 categories of competition in STEM, humanities, entrepreneurship, performing arts, visual arts, and culinary.

Today, over 50,000 minority high school students participate locally in over 500 communities throughout the country. ACT-SO is the largest academic promotion for African American high school youths in America.

For more information, please visit and like our FaceBook page at Area II NAACP Act-So.

From this local competition, the gold medalist(s) will advance to compete in the national NAACP ACT- SO competition later this year hosted from Boston, MA.

Although this is the first year the competition occurred virtually, these competitions have been held annually, two days prior to the NAACP National Convention, since 1978. ACT-SO was founded in 1978 by author and journalist Vernon Jarrett (1918-2004). The program was intended to give recognition to young people who could demonstrate academic, scientific, and artistic achievement, allowing them to gain recognition equal to that often achieved by entertainers and athletes. 

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The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), informally named the “Olympics of the Mind,” is a youth program of the NAACP that is “designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students. The year-long program recognizes and awards young people who have demonstrated academic and cultural achievement. Gold, silver, and bronze medals, along with cash awards, are awarded to winners in each of 32 categories of competition in STEM, humanities, entrepreneurship, performing arts, visual arts, and culinary.

Today, over 50,000 minority high school students participate locally in over 500 communities throughout the country. ACT-SO is the largest academic promotion for African American high school youths in America.

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