NAACP Southside Branch sending 12 students to national ACT-SO competition

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ROSE JOSHUA, NAACP President, Southside Branch, is proudly sending 12 students from the ACT-SO program to the National ACT-SO Competition in San Antonio, TX in July. The Gold Medalist students will compete in culinary, dance, engineering, poetry, and drawing. ACT-SO stands for Afro Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics.

The Chicago Southside Branch of the NAACP is sending 12 students to compete in the National ACT-SO competition July 12-15, in San Antonio, TX. ACT-SO is the acronym for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. The students have participated in local competitions and scored between 95 and 100 in their category to earn the rank of gold medalists.

These local gold medalist ACT-SO winners have been invited to compete at the National Competition and Ceremonies which is held in conjunction with the NAACP National Convention.  The Chicago area students will showcase their talents in the categories of culinary, dance, engineering, poetry and drawing.

“I am so pleased for these students and so proud of the commitment they have made to participate in ACT-SO,” Chicago Southside Branch NAACP President, Rose Joshua said.  “I also want to thank the chairpersons, mentors, sponsors, organizers and educational partners who have given their time and talent working in some volunteer capacity over these past several months to help students develop their ACT-SO projects and performances from the local to national level.”

The names of the students (called gold medalists) who won the local ACT-SO competitions and will participate in the National ACT-SO Competition:

  1. Juliah Pious – Painting
  2. Jeshurun Tutson – Drawing
  3. Julian Bundridge – Sculpture
  4. Kymani Williams – Dance Contemporary
  1. Barbara Hurns – Dance Traditional
  2. Jarrett Silmon – Poetry Performance
  3. Rory Hayes – Dramatics
  4. Sydney Williams – Engineering
  5. Landen Boyd – Original Essay
  6. Tyler Smith – Music Composition & Music Contemporary
  7. Deandra Moore – Culinary
  8. Ericka Jones – Architecture

ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) is a program of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) that provides youth of African descent a platform to demonstrate academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise, affording them the same recognition often only reserved for entertainers and athletes.

ACT-SO was conceptualized by Activist and Journalist Vernon Jarrett who presented his idea for an “Olympics of the Mind” to Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History.  In 1977, the NAACP Board of Directors adopted a resolution to accept ACT-SO as an official sponsored NAACP youth achievement program.  Almost 40 years later, in more than 200 local communities throughout the United States, ACT-SO adult volunteers recruit students and mentors who work to develop students’ projects and performances for local competition.

For more information about ACT-SO Chicago Southside, email to schiactso@gmail.com.

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