ACT-SO, a program by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is an acronym that stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. It is a student enrichment program that culminates in a local and national competition where students compete for awards, and prizes totaling over $150,000.
ACT-SO, often referred to as the "Olympics of the Mind", seeks to promote the following among high school students of African-American descent:
Positive interaction between our youth and the adult professional community
Positive academic and artistic excellence
High academic and cultural achievement
The ACT-SO program centers around the dedication and commitment of community volunteers and business leaders; to serve as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence among students of African-American descent.
Students who participate in ACT-SO, compete with other students (locally) in up to 3 of 26 categories which includes sciences, humanities, performing arts, visual arts and business. The local competition serves to showcase the hard work students have put in all year long. Students receive medals and prizes provided by the local and regional sponsors and contributors. ACT-SO Students who receive gold medals on the local level then compete at the National Competition where they receive prizes and other rewards provided by national sponsors. The New Jersey Olympics was initiated in 1989.
ACT-SO Goals ACT-SO is rooted in the firm conviction that African American students can succeed and compete at the same or superior levels as their counterparts in classrooms, boardrooms and laboratories across this nation and abroad. The mission of ACT-SO is to prepare, recognize and reward African-American youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence. The ACT-SO goals are:
To mobilize the adult community for the promotion of academic and artistic excellence among students of African descent.
To recognize academic and talent achievement among students of African descent.
To provide and assist students with the necessary skills to establish goals and acquire the confidence and training to make a successful contribution to society.
The ACT-SO program is intended to be a learning experience, first and foremost. The focus of a viable and effective local ACT-SO program is on enrichment and mentorship. Students work with ACT-SO mentors who help them develop projects throughout the year. Local ACT-SO programs also provide ACT-SO students with enrichment opportunities, such as workshops, tutorials, and field trips.
The benefits ACT-SO students receive from the enrichment and mentorship components include substantial assistance toward the development of their ACT-SO projects and valuable tools to assist them throughout their education.
Why Should I Participate in ACT-SO?
As a high school student bombarded with homework, projects, clubs, sports, and more, the last thing you want to do is add another activity to your list. On the other hand, you may be a student who isn't really involved because you just can’t seem to find an activity that interests you. Either way, ACT-SO is a program that you can’t do without. We will provide you with the tools to help you increase your confidence, achieve your goals, and become a success.
At ACT-SO meetings and workshops, we will teach you how to successfully compete against your counterparts by inspiring you to do your absolute best, teaching you the importance of preparation and presentation. ACT-SO pushes you need to reach your maximum potential.
Unlike other extracurricular activities, ACT-SO provides you the opportunity to showcase your talents in a variety of fields including performing arts, visual arts, STEM, humanities, and business. ACT-SO will also provide you with mentors that share your interest, who will provide you with the counsel and advice needed for you to reach your goals.
If you’re still not convinced, here are the top 5 reasons why you should join ACT-SO:
You get to meet and compete against talented students from across the country.
We teach you real “life lessons” that will help you succeed in both the classroom and life.
You can win cash prizes and a brand new laptop.
It will look great on your college resume.
We’re not just another boring activity. We actually have fun.
Awards and Prizes Above all, ACT-SO is a learning experience in which prizes are awarded. At the ACT-SO New Jersey local level, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded unspecified prizes. Finalists who advance onto the ACT-SO National level, are awarded with medals, cash prizes of $2,000 (gold medalist), $1,500 (silver medalist) and $1,000 (bronze medalist) in each category and an all expense paid trip to the National ACT-SO competition. In addition, many other awards, and prizes are awarded to national finalists which are provided by national sponsors.
LaRae Carter ACT-SO Chair Gloucester County NAACP#2345 856.986.2892