Talented young people from across the United States, who excelled in various disciplines and were recognized as local winners from NAACP branches nationwide, participated in the 2012 National NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition in Houston, Texas, from July 5 throgh July 8, 2012. The 34th annual ACT-SO event, included students who competed in 26 categories as varied as chemistry/biochemistry, entrepreneurship, mathematics, music composition, oratory, photography and playwriting.
Five area high school students, who participated in the National ACT-SO competition, represented the Altadena Branch NAACP in Houston, TX. They were gold medal winners in a local competition held, April, 2012, at the Altadena Branch NAACP.
These young people, and the categories in which they competed, are: Samantha Cantoria, in Dance; Dondei Dean, in two categories, Drawing and Painting; Dominique Johnson, in Dramatics; Alexandra Levitter, in Instrumental Classical; and, Matthew Stroud, in Poetry. The national winners received gold, silver and bronze medals plus cash prizes during the Awards Ceremony, which was hosted by actor Anthony Anderson and featured appearances by actress Ashley Támar Davis and Astro, a contestant from television's "The X-Factor" program.
Since 1998, more than 20 Altadena NAACP students have been ACT-SO National Metal winners. An important factor for the success of ACT-SO is the dedication of local ACT-SO sponsors, volunteers, mentors, coaches, business managers and other volunteers to promote academic and artistic excellence among African-American students. It was founded by renowned author and journalist Vernon Jarrett in 1978. Previous ACT-SO contestants and winners include filmmaker John Singleton, musician Kanye West and actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Through a collaborative effort, participating students develop the confidence and skills needed to excel in school and life.
For information to find out how you may become involved with ACT-SO, please call Wilberta Richardson, ACT-SO chair (626) 222-2189, or contact us at P.O. Box 6547, Altadena, and CA. 91103.