NAACP Proudly Announces 30th Anniversary   ACT-SO Medalists

Talented young people from a wide array of disciplines took their place in history recently by being recognized as national winners in the NAACP ACT-SO competitions.

ACT-SO--the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics--is a major youth initiative of the NAACP. Gold, silver and bronze medalists were announced during the NAACP's 30th anniversary celebration of ACT-SO that concluded with award ceremonies Aug. 3 at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando Fla., co-hosted by actors Tichina Arnold and Terry Crews.

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. Gold medalists at the local level qualify for the national finals held each summer.

This year’s winners by category, hometown and NAACP branch affiliation follow below:

Architecture

 

Gold

Noah Kramer

Kalamazoo, MI

Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch

Silver

Joyce Johnsono

MIAMI, FL

Miami Dade Branch

Bronze

Conlei Blanks

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Branch


Biology/Microbiology

 

Gold

Terrence George

Chicago, IL

Chicago Westside Branch

Silver

Jasmine Roberts

Tampa, FL

Hillsborough County Branch

Bronze

James Hines

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Branch


Chemistry/Biochemistry

 

Gold

Dasha Savage

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Branch

Silver

Tyrone Howard

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Branch

Bronze

Lacie Pierre

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Branch


Computer Science

 

Gold

David Brown

Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque Branch

Silver

Malcom Keith

Dayton, OH

Dayton Branch

Bronze

Travis Nwachokor

Missouri City, TX

Houston Branch


Dance

 

Gold

Andrew Cribbett

Thomasboro, IL

Champaign Branch

Silver

 

Jeroboam Bozeman

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Branch

Bronze

Jasmine Black

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore County Branch


Dramatics

 

Gold

Najee Temple

MIAMI, FL

Miami-Dade Youth Council

Silver

Jeanell Allen

Altamonte springs, FL

Orange County Branch

Bronze

Shakera Tuggle

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Branch


Drawing

 

Gold

Nathaniel Jones

Pine Hill, NJ

Philadelphia Branch

Silver

Orissa Jenkins

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL

Miami-Dade Youth Council

Bronze

Clinnie Brinson

Ft. Walton Beach, FL

Okaloosa County Branch

 


Earth and Space Sciences

 

Silver

David McMillon

Saginaw, MI

Saginaw Branch

Bronze

Aisha Payne

Crown Point , IN

Gary Branch


Engineering

 

Gold

Christen Robinson

Saginaw, MI

Saginaw Branch

Silver

Daniel David

Corona, CA

San Gabriel Valley

Bronze

Marius Bizimungu

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo Branch


Entrepreneurship

 

Gold

RaShaun Robinson

Raytown, MO

Kansas City Youth Council

Silver

Fantashia Stevens

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Branch

Bronze

Krysal Matthews

Jersey City, NJ

Mid-Manhattan Branch


Filmmaking

 

Gold

Robert Scurlock

Gary, IN

Gary Branch

Silver

Bryan Pasian

New York, NY

Mid-Manhattan Branch

Bronze

Andre Ash

Detroit, MI

Detroit Central Branch


Mathematics

 

Silver

David McMillon

Saginaw, MI

Saginaw Branch

Bronze

Michael Mekonnen

Silver Sping, MD

Montgomery County Branch


Medicine and Health

 

Gold

Nolan Ford

Saginaw, MI

Saginaw Branch

Silver

Queenosob Hashi

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo Branch

Bronze

Asha Smith

Ossining, NY

Westchester Region Coalition


Music Composition

 

Gold

Alfred Sheppard, Jr.

Tampa, FL

Hillsborough County Branch

Silver

Dorian Hawkins

MIRAMAR, FL

Miami Dade Branch

Bronze

 

Christopher Leysath

Orangeburg, SC

Orangeburg Branch

Music: Inst./Classical

 

Gold

Jordan Thomas

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Branch

Silver

Saila Reyes

Agoura, CA

San Gabriel Valley

Bronze

Diondre McKinney

Houston, TX

Houston Branch


Music: Inst./Contemp.

 

Gold

 

Joshua Sommerville

Gaithersburg, MD

Montgomery County Branch

Silver

Alan Lawson

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Branch

Bronze

Jazmin Ghent

MADISON, AL

Limestone County Branch


Music: Vocal/Classical

 

Gold

LaRon Thompson

Kansas City, KS

Kansas City Youth Council

Silver

Michael Wordly

MIAMI, FL

Miami Dade Branch

Bronze

Daniel Farmer

Memphis, TN

Memphis Branch


Music: Vocal/Contemp.

 

Gold

Tiffany Williams

Jackson, MS

Jackson-Hinds Youth Council

Silver

 

Azschrielle Jackson

Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville Branch

Bronze

Michael Wordly

MIAMI, FL

Miami Dade Branch


Oratory

 

Gold

Ebony Gray

Kalamazoo, MI

Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch

Silver

Ashleigh Taylor

Memphis, TN

Memphis Branch

Bronze

Ricardo Clark

fort lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale Branch


Original Essay

 

Gold

 

Grantham Coleman,II

Missouri City, TX

Houston Branch

Silver

 

Christopher Moncrief

Bronx, NY

Williamsbridge Branch

Bronze

Sharai Bryan

Williamsburg, VA

York-James City-Williamsburg Branch


Painting

 

Gold

Terrance David

Randallstown, MD

Baltimore County Branch

Silver

Wesley Chavis

Chesapeake, VA

Portsmouth Branch

Bronze

Ni-Ka Ford

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Branch


Photography

 

Gold

Rodney Jones II

Dundalk, MD

Baltimore County Branch

Silver

Gisella Gutierrez

Piscataway, NJ

Metuchen-Edison Area Branch

Bronze

Elmore Davis

Marion, SC

Marion County Branch


Physics

 

Gold

Chelsea Dixon

Alta Loma, CA

San Gabriel Valley

Silver

Phillip Nwachokor

Missouri City, TX

Houston Branch

Bronze

Jordan Smith

Fort Worth, TX

Arlington Branch


Playwriting

 

Gold

Aeriel Robinson

Chicago Heights, IL

Chicago Westside Branch

Silver

Keith Smith

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Branch

Bronze

Jessica Avant

Des Moines, IA

Des Moines Branch


Poetry

 

Gold

Tielah Williams

Harisburg, PA

Greater Harrisburg Branch

Silver

Lester Smith III

Marston, NC

Scotland County Youth Council

Bronze

Brittany Arnett

Flint, MI

Flint Branch


Sculpture

 

Gold

Quamesha Brown

Memphis, TN

Memphis Branch

Silver

Erik Clark

Chicago, IL

Chicago Westside Branch

Bronze

Rhea Leonard

MIAMI, FL

Miami Dade Branch

Founded in 1978 by renowned author and journalist Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO provides a forum through which African American youth demonstrate academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise, often gaining recognition reserved for entertainers and athletes.

ACT-SO programs span most of a year beginning in the fall, followed by planning and coaching of participants through winter months, culminating in nearly 200 local competitions that run through April. The ACT-SO program is based on the dedication and commitment of more than 100 community volunteers and business leaders that serve as mentors and coaches.

In its 30 year history an estimated 261,000 young people have participated in ACT-SO events. More than 700 national gold medalists have come from 28 states. Over that time more than $354,000 in national competition prizes—bonds, monetary awards, laptop computers, scholarships--have been granted.   

ACT-SO national winners receive financial awards from major corporations, college internships and apprenticeships. Corporate sponsors include: McDonald’s Corporation, the Maryland Institute College of Art, United Parcel Service, Ronald McDonald House Charities, State Farm, Sodexho, Wal-Mart, Northern Illinois University, Shell Oil, Coca Cola, the US Navy, Berkeley College of Music, The Walt Disney Company, Toyota Motor Sales, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Dow, Northrop Grumman, Kodak, Hyatt, Nestle, NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.     

ACT-SO alumni occupy a wide array of careers including executive positions with corporations like Lockheed Martin and Citigroup—one even serves a vocal coach for FOX television’s “American Idol.” Famed ACT-SO alumni include musician Kanye West, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, filmmaker John Singleton and comedian Anthony Anderson.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Media Contact: Richard J. McIntire (410) 580-5787

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