“If you believe you can do it, Then…ACT-SO!”
What is ACT-SO?
ACT-SO, a program by the 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 $50,000.
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 self-esteem
- 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.
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.