LB Branch NAACP Announces the 2012 ACT-SO Team & Requests Donations

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The Long beach Branch NAACP presents the 2012 ACT-SO Team! The National Competition is in Houston, Texas, July 5 – July 9, 2012 during the NAACP National Convention. The sixteen member ACT-SO team needs to raise $5,000 to get to Houston. They have raised and received donations totaling $12,000. The 2012 ACT-SO Gold Medalists are listed below:

  • Nia Barbee – Long Beach Poly HS; Poetry & Music, Instrumental Classical
  • Johannes Boyd – Wilson High School; Entrepreneurship & Playwriting
  • Taryne Chatman – Millikan High School; Oratory
  • Chantele’ Lewis – California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS); Earth Science & Physics
  • Dominique Labat – Millikan High School; Drawing & Painting
  • Elijah Joubert – Lakewood High School; Music Vocal Contemporary
  • Karian Yepez – Francis Polytechnic High School; Culinary Arts
  • Aniyah Williams – Wilson High School; Dance
  • Sarah Nyenke – California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS); Engineering & Chemistry
  • Adrian Jones – Wilson High School; Mathematics
  • Sylvia Lewis – California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS); Observer
  • Neyah Barbee – Long Beach Poly HS; Original Essay
  • Zerrick Santos – Wilson High School; Sculpture
  • Dylan Barnes – Millikan High School; Music Instrumental Contemporary
  • Whitney Miller – Renaissance High School; Photography
  • Alexis Fillingames – Bishop Montgomery; Dramatics

ACT-SO is an acronym for Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. There are 25 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts, and culinary arts. Vernon Jarrett, a renowned author and journalist, initiated the idea of a program that would promote and reward academic achievers the same way sports heroes are honored. 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. 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 color, especially African American students. High school students, who are citizens of the United States, enrolled in grades 9-12 and are amateurs in the categories of competition are able to participate. Program participants are teamed up with coaches in their appropriate categories in order to sharpen their skills for the spring local competition.

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.

Naomi Rainey, President of the Long Beach Branch NAACP, has been with the ACT-SO Program since its inception. If you would like to support the program, or a competitor, you can send your tax-deductible donation to the Long Beach Branch NAACP at P.O. Box 1594 Long Beach, CA 90801. For more information, call (562) 856-7586. The LB NAACP ACT-SO Program Chair is Charles D. Smith.

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