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North San Diego County

Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics

Become a Partner

OUR MISSION

  • To mobilize the adult community for the promotion of academic and artistic excellence.

  • To recognize creative talent and academic achievement.

  • 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.

National ACT-SO Twitter 

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WHAT IS ACT-SO?

 

ACT-SO is an acronym for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics. ACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students.

 

ACT-SO is rooted in the firm conviction that all students can succeed and compete at the same or superior levels as their counterparts in classrooms, boardrooms, and laboratories across this nation and abroad.

 

 

ACT-SO includes 32 competitions in STEM, humanities, business, and performing, visual and culinary arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated in the program since its inception in 1978. For over forty years the mission of ACT-SO has been to prepare, recognize and reward youth of African descent who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence.

Participation Opportunities

ACT-SO is a community-based program that provides multiple opportunities for involvement. Community members may participate as committee members, mentors, sponsors, organizers, competitors, benefactors, educational partners, etc.  The program receives support from schools, local businesses, community organizations, churches, foundations, major corporations, and individuals.  

Students can select up to three (3) categories of competition from a total of 32 offerings.

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Vernon Jarrett (1918-2004)

The Afro-Academics, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics ( ACT-SO ) is a major youth initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Founded in 1978, by the renowned author and journalist, Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO provides a forum through which African American youth demonstrate academic, artistic, and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often reserved for entertainers and athletes.

ACT-SO "The Olympics of the Mind " is rooted in the firm conviction that African-Americans can succeed and compete at the same or superior levels as their counterparts in classrooms, boardrooms and laboratories across this nation and aboard. The objective 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 academics and artistic excellence among African American students.

  • To recognize academic achievement among African American students in a manner commensurate with the recognition afforded athletics.

  • To provide and assist African-American students with the necessary skills and tools to establish goals and acquire the confidence and training to make a successful contribution to society.

 

NAACP Branches and Youth and Colleges units conduct annual competitions for students in grades 9 - 12 in NAACP branches throughout the country. Participating branches hold local competitions in the categories of Entrepreneurship, Science, Humanities, Performing and Visual Arts. The top winners from the local competitions then compete against the winners from other cities at the national ACT-SO finals held during the NAACP's Annual Convention.

National ACT-SO Awards Ceremony 

The ACT-SO experience culminates with a production designed to celebrate the accomplishments of the ACT-SO Champions, their coaches, and volunteers. The ceremony includes celebrity guests and performances by current Champions.