The ACT-SO program is intended to be a learning experience, first and foremost.

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  • January 10, 2018 3:59 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)
  • January 10, 2018 3:02 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)
  • January 02, 2018 12:27 AM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Closing Date: 2/21/2018

    The TARGET Program is a paid, six-week summer internship opportunity for Illinois high school sophomores and juniors who have strong interest and demonstrated aptitude for physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering. The program’s design combines both work and hands-on experiential learning. In addition, TARGET interns are expected to attend lectures and participate in program tours and group activities.

    The program’s goals are to encourage high school students to undertake college study and pursue careers in STEM disciplines. The TARGET Program supports efforts to increase underrepresented populations in the sciences and engineering at the college level and consequently the workforce. Members of underrepresented populations, including but not limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Alaska Natives, American Indians, and women, are strongly encouraged to apply. 

    * Bonus fact: 2017 National Award Winner, Whitney Ford, completed the 2017 TARGET Program!

    Internship Application >>

    >> download pdf
  • October 28, 2017 11:02 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    ACT-SO students Allyson Amegashie, Joshua Lambert, and alumni Jalen Crump shared their research in Medicine and Health, Engineering, and Physics with students ranging from Kindergarten to high school and with engineering professionals at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Professionals Community Impact Project: Innovation Lab on Saturday, September 30. The event was held in downtown Chicago as part of the NSBE Professional Development Conference. All were impressed with Allyson, Josh, and Jalen’s work with several of the engineers surprised when they found that the research was performed by high school students. Our students represented ACT-SO extremely well.

  • October 21, 2017 11:20 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    We’re sending a hardy thank you to all the facilitators who shared their knowledge during the October 21 Enrichment session. Casandra Talmadge from McDonald’s continued her work with the Entrepreneurship students. Jeremy White helped the Humanities students with tips for getting past writer’s block. The scientific method and constructing an hypothesis was discussed with the STEM students. Alton Rollerson worked with the Oratory students and Wanda Parker worked with the Dramatics students. Cortez Watkins helped Music Vocal and Instrumental students with tips on selecting the right piece to perform. Thanks to Tony Venezia and LeVern Danley who worked with the Filmmaking and Photography students, respectively, and to Andria Smith for recruiting an art professional for the Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture students. A special thanks to Tia Juarez from the Women’s Business Center Aurora, who presented the interactive workshop, Starting a Business 101, which was attended by both students and parents. Several students made positive comments about the workshop. 

    Visual Arts Enrichment is pleased to welcome Ms. Sally Sharp, Director of Education at the Naperville Art League as an instructor to our program. This month students were introduced to cold wax medium techniques and more. Students should review October's homework which focuses on theme. Students should complete the review and email Mrs. Smith potential researched themes by November 15, 2017. The November class will focus on drawing and will feature a live model. 

  • October 06, 2017 12:11 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    View and share the latest DuPage ACT-SO Newsletter or if you missed out prior issue take a look at the newsletter archive

    Oct. 2017 Newsletter (pdf) 

    View the newsletter archive

  • October 05, 2017 9:56 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Credit Argonne National Laboratory While in high school, Tavis Reed envisioned a future designing video games, but after participating in the Argonne Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) High School Research Program, he hit the reset button.

    Now a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, Reed is studying chemical engineering and computer science, and hopes to one day create a clean energy business....

    To view whole article on newswise.com>>

  • September 07, 2017 11:13 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Every year, the DuPage County ACT-SO Chapter hosts a Community Leaders’ Breakfast to update community leaders on our student and organizational progress and successes. Superintendents, Principals, Pastors, Community and Business leaders are in attendance. They partner with us in our fundraising, marketing, and student & volunteer recruitment. On August 11, 2017, several of our national Gold medalist students and Jr. ACT-SO students; along with Dr. Ann Rondeau- President of College of DuPage (COD), Shahe Bagdasarian (Glenbard East H.S. Principal), and others gave remarks. During the breakfast, we were surprised and delighted with an announcement that our COD partners will provide an annual full-ride scholarship to an ACT-SO student.

  • September 07, 2017 11:05 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    September Enrichment

    New this year …an Enrichment Fair!!  During the monthly general session on Saturday, September 16 starting at 2:00 PM in the College of DuPage Student Resource Center (SRC) 2000, students and parents will have the opportunity to view the completed projects from most of the ACT-SO competition categories. There will be booths for Business, Visual Arts, STEM, Humanities, and Performing Arts staffed by students and/or facilitators to answer questions about the category. There will be live performances from previous Performing Arts competitors. A Parent Resource table will be staffed by seasoned parents to help answer questions that other parents may have. The specific category enrichment categories will follow as usual after the completion of the fair. Those sessions will finish at 5:00 PM. Whether you’re new or returning, this is a great opportunity to ask questions about any new category of which you were curious.


    The next orientation for the high school program will occur on September 16 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM in SRC 2000 at the College of DuPage located at 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL. Orientation for Jr. ACT-SO will be held during the same time at Glenbard South High School located at 23W200 Butterfield Rd., Glen Ellyn, room 308. All ACT-SO participants, whether new or returning, must attend an orientation session.

    Argonne Research Program

    Argonne National Laboratory continues their partnership with ACT-SO with The Argonne ACT-SO High School Research Program’s (ARP). The program matches Ph.D. and/or other graduate level Argonne researchers with highly motivated ACT-SO students to perform imaginative research with a high level of rigor in a safe manner. Students interested in participating must have attended an ACT-SO orientation and registered by September 16. In addition to the ACT-SO enrichment sessions on the 3rd Saturday of each month, the Argonne program meets on the 1st Saturday of each month. To get a head start on conducting a literature search for research ideas, use Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/) and search on topics that interest you. For example, try searching on “gene splicing”. The search will return several articles, which you can then read to become familiar with the subject matter and possibly spark an idea for your project. 

  • July 28, 2017 3:15 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    (Naperville, IL) – Students from the DuPage County ACT-SO program led the nation in medals awarded in STEM categories at last Sunday’s 39th Annual National NAACP ACT-SO Awards Ceremony that was held in Baltimore, Maryland. The students won the top medals awarded in the categories of Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Space Sciences and Physics. DuPage County ACT-SO students also the bronze medal in the Engineering category and the silver medal in Music Composition, bringing DuPage County ACT-SO into a tie for the second highest number of total national medals awarded, a total of six. The medalists will each receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000-$2,000 and were given a Samsung Chromebook Plus at the awards reception.

    The awards ceremony was hosted by Cornelius Smith, one of the stars of the ABC hit show Scandal. Smith is an ACT-SO alum, having competed at the local and national levels in the category of Music Vocal Contemporary when he was a high school student.

    “DuPage County ACT-SO has emerged as one of the nation’s top-performing programs as a result of the dedication of its students, parents and volunteers,” said Teresa Haley, President of the Illinois State Conference NAACP. “The ability to have in-depth, hands-on exploration of potential career areas is so important as students prepare for college and career. ACT-SO provides its students the ability to explore areas that they have talent for or interest in within a supportive environment.”

    The medalists were part of the group of 14 area high school students that won local gold medals at the DuPage County ACT-SO that was held in March. The students vied for honors against more than 700 other local gold medalists from around the country at the National ACT-SO competition that was held on Friday. DuPage County ACT-SO was one of three programs in the nation that was awarded a National ACT-SO Student Engagement Award for having the most students competing at the national competition.

    ACT-SO, the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, is a year-long program that was created to encourage high academic and cultural achievement among high school students of African descent. The primary focus of the program is the development of projects for competition in categories in the areas of STEM, Business, Humanities, Performing Arts and Visual Arts. Mentoring and academic enrichment are key objectives in this endeavor.

    The program owes much of its success as the leading ACT-SO STEM program in the nation to its relationship with Argonne National Laboratory. This is the fourth year that Argonne and DuPage County ACT-SO have partnered for the Argonne/ACT-SO STEM Mentoring and Research Program. Each high school ACT-SO STEM student is paired with a scientist from Argonne National Laboratory in Darien, which provides mentoring, guidance and facilities for the students’ research. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the program brings in professionals every month to expose the students to careers in various STEM areas.

    Middle and high school students that want to participate in DuPage County ACT-SO’s 20172018 academic year program should plan on attending one of the orientation sessions that begin the weekend of August 26th. The information flyer is available on the program’s website: www.dupageact-so.org.

    DuPage County ACT-SO is a program of the DuPage County Branch of the NAACP. Since its 1979 inception, the local program has partnered with the College of DuPage. Key sponsors and partners of the program include Argonne National Laboratory, Glenbard High School District 87, Glenbard South High School, the McDonald’s Corporation and Comcast.

    DuPage County ACT-SO 2017 National Award Winners








    Cristal Johnson

    Bolingbrook High School


    Computer Science


    Whitney Ford

    Plainfield East High School


    Earth and Space Science


    Riziki Covington

    Neuqua Valley High School


    Music Composition


    Kyla Denwood

    Willowbrook High School




    Jalen Crump

    Air Force Academy High School




    Joshua Lambert

    Glenbard East High School


    More About the ACT-SO Program 

    The Afro-Academics, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a major youth initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Founded in 1978, by the renowned author and journalist, Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO provides a forum through which African American youth demonstrate academic, artistic, and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often reserved for entertainers and athletes. The objective of ACT-SO is to prepare, recognize and reward African-American youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence. NAACP branches and youth units throughout the country conduct annual competitions for students in grades 9 - 12. Gold medalists from the local competitions then compete against gold medalists from other cities around the nation at the National ACT-SO Competition that is held during the NAACP's Annual Convention in July.

    [Download Press Release (pdf)]

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ACT-SO Expanding The Minds Of Our Youth

Sponsored by DuPage County Branch-NAACP, College of DuPage and DuPage Regional Office of Education

College of DuPage 
1223 Rickert Dr. 
Naperville, IL 60540 
(331) 462-2876 or  (331) 46ACTSO

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