Lily Paris of Monrovia High Wins Silver Medal and Naomi Berhane of Flintridge Prep Scores Bronze at National NAACP ACT-SO Competition in Orlando
Lily Paris, a student at Monrovia High School, won a Silver Medal in photography. Naomi Berhane, who attends Flintridge Prep School, scored a Bronze Medal in mathematics at the competition held in conjunction with the 104th NAACP Annual Convention.
Paris, a Duarte resident, and Berhane, along with five other students, including three from Duarte High School, advanced to the national competition after winning Gold Medals in the local Pasadena NAACP ACT-SO competition hosted by the City of Duarte in April. They are: Ariana Seymore, Chino Hills High School; Tamera Barron, Duarte High School; Tylen Kelly, Duarte High School; Tyree McLemore, Bonanza High School, NV, formerly of Duarte; and William Glover, Duarte High School.
ACT-SO, founded in 1978 by renowned author and journalist Vernon Jarrett, is an enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement. The program targets African-American high school students. There are 25 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts.
Duarte Teen Center Director, Marilyn Mays served as chair of the Pasadena NAACP's ACT-SO competition. Duarte Deputy City Manager, Karen Herrera, Duarte Public Safety Crime Prevention Specialist, Aida Torres and former Duarte Mayor, Lois Gaston served as co-chairs.
The ACT-SO program is intended to be a learning experience. The focus is on enrichment and mentorship. Students work with ACT-SO volunteer mentors who are professionals in their field who serve as coaches in promoting academic and artistic excellence among underserved youth. High school students who self-identify as African American, are citizens of the United States, enrolled in grades 9-12, and are amateurs in the categories of competition are invited to participate.
Famous ACT-SO alumni in the performing arts include John Singleton, Kanye West, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Roy Hargrove, Michael Bard, and Anthony Anderson.