Talented young people from a wide variety of disciplines were recognized as local winners in the 2013 Altadena NAACP ACT-SO Awards Celebration held Sunday, April 28, 2013. The celebration draws interest from the local community and surrounding areas,San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles.
The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics of the Mind (ACT-SO) is a National Youth Initiative of the NAACP. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded during the Altadena NAACP's 16th Anniversary Celebration of ACT-SO. ACT-SO alumna, Portia Gorman (formerly Mitchell) was the lively and entertaining Mistress of Ceremonies for the afternoon.
The success of ACT-SO is due largely to the dedication of the ACT-SO local sponsors, volunteers, mentors, and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence. Through this collaborative effort, participating high school students develop the confidence and skills needed to excel in school and life. The students competed in 15 of the 27 categories which comprise the ACT-SO program.
For the first time in Altadena ACT-SO's history the chapter will send a gold medalist in Microbiology and in Calculus to the National competition in Florida. Receiving a gold medal at the local level, qualify the participants to compete in the national finals held each summer in conjunction with the NAACP National Convention in cities throughout the country. This year's Gold medalists by category are: Chelsea Johnson – Vocal Contemporary; Alexandra Levatter - Instrumental Classical; Jamael Dean - Instrumental Contemporary; Jean-Paul Vercher - Music Composition and Poetry; Danica Brown - Dance; Olivia Rivera - Original Essay; Omar Wiseman – Painting; Alana Jackson - Microbiology; Dondei Dean - Calculus.
Several Silver and Bronze medals were awarded to the following: Dance: Ilana Isreal - silver, Joniece Boykin - silver; Vocal: Olivia Rivera - silver, Jadzia Pittman - silver, Jade Bryant - bronze, Benjamin Patterson - bronze, Ashley Hernandez - bronze; Instrumental Classical: Daniel-Egwaurube - silver; Instrumental Contemporary: Daniel-Egwaurube - silver, Haisem Khalfani - silver; Playwriting: Chelsea Johnson - bronze; Painting and Drawing: Dondei Dean - silver; Drama: Benjamin Patterson - bronze; Oratory: Jadzia Pittman - bronze.