ACT-SO provides a forum through which youth of African descent demonstrate academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often only reserved for entertainers and athletes.
ACT-SO is rooted in the firm conviction that all students can succeed and compete at the same or superior levels as their counterparts in classrooms, boardrooms, and laboratories across this nation and abroad.
ACT-SO is a year-long youth achievement program that begins in August of each year in local communities nationwide. In more than 200 local communities throughout the U.S., ACT-SO adult volunteers recruit students and mentors. Students work with mentors from August to April to develop their projects and performances for the local competition.
Local ACT-SO Activities
August: Local programs kick-off annual ACT-SO activities.
September-March: Local programs conduct mentoring and scholastic enrichment activities.
April: Local programs host ACT-SO competitions.
Once local competitions are held, the gold medalists (those with scores between 95-100 in their category) are invited to compete on a national level. The National Competition and Ceremonies, held every July in conjunction with the NAACP National Convention, is the ACT-SO culminating event.
National ACT-SO Competition
April-July: Students continue their local mentorship and enrichment programs to prepare for the National Competition.
July: Annual activities culminate with the National Competition and Ceremonies
ACT-SO is a community-based program that provides multiple opportunities for involvement. Community members may participate as: Chairpersons, mentors, sponsors, organizers, competitors, benefactors, educational partners, etc. The program receives support from schools, local businesses, community organizations, churches, foundations, major corporations, and individuals. For more detailed criteria and information about how to get involved, please contact the National ACT-SO office.
Students can select up to 3 competitions from a total of 29 offerings.