Bloomington-Normal NAACP ACT-SO


ACT-SO is an acronym for Academic, Cultural, Technological 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. 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 African-American students. There are 29 categories of competition in the areas of STEM, humanities, performing arts, visual arts, business, and culinary arts.

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9th Annual Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO
Olympics of the Mind
Awards Ceremony & Banquet

Sunday, April 28, 2019
3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
3202 East Empire Street, Bloomington

Catering by Baxter’s American Grille

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. 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. 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 scholarships and other rewards provided by national sponsors.


Keajia (Keke) Hardin

Keajia (Keke) Hardin
Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO
Culinary Arts
Gold Medalist

Juniors or Seniors currently in a culinary arts program.

Bloomington-Normal is one of fourteen cities in the United States invited to participate in the NAACP ACT-SO Culinary Arts Program this year.  Local Gold medals winners go on to compete on the national level and are eligible to receive scholarship credit to the Culinary Insittue of America in Hyde Park New York and have been offered opportunities at Sodexo upon graduation.
The experience, exposure and  connections garnered from this event are unmatched.  To witness the culinary event on the national level is AMAZING!! Requirements


Alexis Starks

Alexis Starks
National Gold Medal

Jordyn Blythe

Jordyn Blythe
National Silver Medal

2018 gold medalists


2018 Olympians


Gold Medalists:

Rozilyn Alzebdieh – BHS – Sculpture

Jordyn Blythe – U-High – Dramatics and Oratory

Jessica Bynum – NCHS – Filmmaking

Mia Chewe – U-High – Short Story

Boston Cooper, III – U-High – Entrepreneurship and Poetry-Performance

Jesus Gonzalez – BHS – Music Instrumental Contemporary

Keajia Hardin – NCHS, BACC – Culinary Arts(not pictured)

Kaylyn Richards – BHS – Music Vocal Contemporary

Tierra Shickel – BHS – Poetry-Written

Alexis Starks – NCHS – Photography

Silver Medalists:

Rozilyn Alzebdieh – BHS – Painting

Mia Chewe – U-High – Original Essay

Jaylyn Haynes – BHS – Poetry-Written

Ambria Maddox – NCHS, BACC – Sculpture

Morgan Palmer – BHS – Music Vocal Contemporary

Alexander Phillips – BHS – Oratory

Tierra Shickel – BHS – Photography and Poetry-Performance

Bronze Medalists:

Kai Bates-Diop – U-High – Photography and Medicine & Health

Boston Cooper, III – U-High – Poetry-Written

Faith Jones – NCHS – Dramatics

Rebekah Nielsen – NWHS, BACC – Culinary(not pictured)

Honorable Mention:

Jacqueline Alzebdieh – BHS – Poetry

Zyon Randle – U-High – Music Vocal Contemporary

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