The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Culture, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a yearlong program designed to recruit, stimulate and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students in Grades 9 to 12. The program culminates in a national competition held in July in conjunction with the NAACP National Convention.

ACT-SO has more than 30 fields in six categories, providing a competitive area for almost every interest. STEM, performing arts, humanities, visual arts, business and culinary arts are the categories with various fields nested in each. In the past, CCPS students excelled in fields such as mathematics, music composition, poetry performance and classical instrumental music performance.

The Charles County branch of the NAACP will hold two virtual information sessions next month to introduce students and their families to the program and next steps. The meetings will take place on March 2 and 14 at 7 p.m. To access the links for these meetings:

  • To access the link for the 7 p.m., March 2 meeting, click here. Meeting number is 2630 515 1615. Password: t7sDJyUth74 (87735988 from phones and video systems).
  • To access the link for the 7 p.m., March 14 meeting, click here. Meeting number: 2632 526 8834. Password: bMpbdUng533 (26723864 from phones and video systems).

ACT-SO offers more than 30 competitive fields across the six categories, and students can demonstrate their prowess in up to three competition areas. To be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens and amateurs. STEM fields include architecture, biology/microbiology, chemistry/biochemistry, computer science, Earth and space sciences, engineering, mathematics, medicine and health, physics, and sustainable design. Performing arts fields include dance, acting, instrumental music, vocal music, oratory and poetry performance. Humanities fields include music composition, original essay, playwriting, written poetry, and short story. Visual arts fields include drawing, filmmaking, painting, photography, and sculpture. Business fields include entrepreneurship and hospitality management, while the culinary arts is also a separate category.

Local ACT-SO activities will be held throughout the spring and summer leading up to the national competition in July. In April, a local ACT-SO competition will be held, and from April through July, students advancing to the national contest will take part in local mentorships and enrichment programs to prepare. To learn more about the local ACT-SO program or to ask questions of the organizers, visit the Charles County branch of the NAACP’s website or access the ACT-SO competition application.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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