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

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  • July 26, 2018 7:30 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    (Naperville, IL) – Students from the DuPage County ACT-SO program led the nation in medals at the 40th Annual National NAACP ACT-SO Awards Ceremony that was held in San Antonio, Texas. The students won the following medals: 

    • The gold medals in the Architecture, Computer Science, Mathematics, Music Composition and Physics categories. 
    • The silver medals in Medicine & Health and Biology. 
    • The bronze medals in Chemistry and Entrepreneurship. The medalists will each receive cash prizes ranging from $1,000-$2,000 and were given an Apple iPad at the awards reception. The listing of all of the national medalists is found below.


    “The National ACT-SO competition was the most amazing program I have ever attended!” said Michael Childress, president of the DuPage County NAACP branch. “When you combine talent, drive and tremendous branch and state leadership with the best mentors in the United States, you get the premier ACT-SO program in the country. I am so humbled to be associated with these future doctors, architects, scientists and entrepreneurs. Congratulations to all of our competitors and I look forward to another successful competition in 2019!”

    The medalists were part of a group of 17 area high school students that won local gold medals at the DuPage County ACT-SO local competition 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. The awards ceremony was hosted by DeRon Horton, star in the movie DIRT, and Netflix series Dear White People. ACT-SO alumni and actor Anthony Anderson from the award-winning television show Blackish stopped by the national awards ceremony and gave encouraging words to all of the participants to follow their dreams. DuPage County ACT-SO chapter participants from Will, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Cook counties marched into the awards ceremony along with their program leaders: Chairperson, Dorletta Flucas Payton, and Co-Chairperson, Thomas Reed, to chants of “Du-Du, DuPage” and cheers from the crowd and supporters.

    ACT-SO (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. Argonne and the mentor provide guidance, resources 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 who want to participate in DuPage County ACT-SO’s academic year program should attend one of the orientation sessions; the first one will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 25th, at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. 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 and Comcast.

    DuPage County ACT-SO 2018 National Award Winners

    Category 

     Medal  Name   School    Grade 
    Architecture  Gold   Jasmine Walker Neuqua Valley High School 12th
    Computer Science Gold   Nneka Onwuta St. Charles East High School 12th
    Mathematics  Gold   Erik Imathiu-Jones Providence St. Mel School 11th
    Music Composition Gold  Myles Henderson Downers Grove South High School 12th
    Physics  Gold  Erik Imathiu-Jones Providence St. Mel School  11th
    Biology/Microbiology Silver  Ethan Covington  Neuqua Valley High School 9th
     Medicine and Health Silver  Allyson Amegashie Neuqua Valley High School 11th
    Chemistry/Biochemistry Bronze  Bryson Rivers Bolingbrook High School 11th
    Entrepreneurship Bronze   Imani Porter Neuqua Valley High School 11th

    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
  • April 03, 2018 10:47 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    According to Chairperson Dorletta Flucas Payton, this year’s total of twenty-one gold medals marks a new record for the program.  “DuPage County ACT-SO has emerged as the top-performing STEM program as a result of the partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. Our students’ abilities are stretched as they perform STEM research at a high level of rigor with the guidance of their Argonne mentor.” said Flucas Payton. “In addition to STEM, our students in the Humanities and other areas also continue to shine, making DuPage County ACT-SO a major competitor at every national competition. I can’t wait to see what our students do in San Antonio!”

    Below is a table which includes the information for all of our Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners. 

    Category Medal Name School Grade Area
    Architecture Gold Jasmine  Walker Neuqua Valley 12th STEM
    Biology Gold Ethan Covington Neuqua Valley 9th STEM
    Biology Silver Zainab Salako Islamic Foundation School 10th STEM
    Biology Bronze Imani Porter Neuqua Valley 11th STEM
    Biology HM Jaylen Timms Glenbard West 11th STEM
    Chemistry Gold Bryson Rivers Bolingbrook 11th STEM
    Chemistry Silver Jordan Sharber Bolingbrook 11th STEM
    Chemistry Bronze Ahmarea Covington Oswego East 10th STEM
    Chemistry HM John Bonds III Providence St. Mel 12th STEM
    Computer Science Gold Nneka Onwuta St. Charles East 12th STEM
    Computer Science Silver Justin Austin Providence St. Mel 12th STEM
    Computer Science Bronze James Morrissette Bolingbrook 9th STEM
    Dramatics Gold Jordan Sharber Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Dramatics Bronze Avia Wideman Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Drawing Gold Erica Neal Bolingbrook 11th Visual Arts
    Drawing Silver Amirah Yessoufou Neuqua Valley 12th Visual Arts
    Drawing Bronze Alexis  Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Visual Arts
    Earth and Space Sciences Bronze Kyla Wesley Metea Valley 12th STEM
    Engineering Gold Justin Austin Providence St. Mel 12th STEM
    Engineering Silver Joshua Lambert Glenbard East 12th STEM
    Engineering Bronze Jasmine  Walker Neuqua Valley 12th STEM
    Entrepreneurship Gold Imani Porter Neuqua Valley 11th Business
    Filmmaking HM Veo Taylor Bolingbrook 12th Visual Arts
    Instrumental Classical Gold Myles Henderson Downers Grove South 12th Performing Arts
    Instrumental Contemporary Silver Myles Henderson Downers Grove South 12th Performing Arts
    Instrumental Contemporary Bronze Amber Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Performing Arts
    Mathematics Gold Erik Imathiu-Jones Providence St. Mel 11th STEM
    Medicine HM Dominique Browder Plainfield East 9th STEM
    Medicine and Health Gold Allyson Amegashie Neuqua Valley 11th STEM
    Medicine and Health Silver Cameron Sharber Bolingbrook 9th STEM
    Medicine and Health Bronze Micaela Wesley Metea Valley 12th STEM
    Music Composition Gold Myles Henderson Downers Grove South 12th Humanities
    Oratory Gold Alexis  Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Performing Arts
    Oratory Silver Justin Bolden Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Oratory HM Jade Harlan Bolingbrook 10th Performing Arts
    Original Essay Gold Mariel Thompson Naperville North 12th Humanities
    Original Essay Bronze Whitney Ford Plainfield East 12th Humanities
    Painting Bronze Nicholas Brown Chicago High School for The Arts 11th Visual Arts
    Photography Gold Adam Collins Plainfield East 11th Visual Arts
    Photography Silver Noah Jones Downers Grove South 9th Visual Arts
    Photography Bronze Daiyah Reeves Bolingbrook 9th Visual Arts
    Physics Gold Erik Imathiu-Jones Providence St. Mel 11th STEM
    Physics HM Andrew McElroy Bolingbrook 9th STEM
    Poetry - Written Gold Avia Wideman Bolingbrook 11th Humanities
    Poetry - Written Silver Jamia Chrusfield Glenbard East 12th Humanities
    Poetry Performance Gold Avia Wideman Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Sculpture Gold Alexis  Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Visual Arts
    Short Story Gold Zainab Salako Islamic Foundation School 10th Humanities
    Vocal Contemporary Gold Riziki Covington Neuqua Valley 12th Performing Arts


  • March 28, 2018 11:58 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Twenty-One Gold Medalists Advance to National Competition

    (Naperville, IL) – Fifty-one students from 13 area high schools competed for top honors in various categories in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Business, Humanities, Performing Arts and Visual Arts at the 2018 Annual DuPage County ACT-SO competition, which was held at the College of DuPage on Saturday, March 17th. 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 program features three components: mentoring, academic enrichment, and a local competition.

    More than 400 attendees, including parents, ACT-SO alumni, volunteers, partners and local elected officials celebrated the hard work of the 2017-2018 DuPage County ACT-SO students at the Awards Banquet, which was held the next day at Bolingbrook Golf Club. During the banquet, seventeen high school and five middle school students from the Jr. ACT-SO program were announced as gold medal winners, along with numerous silver and bronze medalists.

    According to Chairperson Dorletta Flucas Payton, this year’s total of twenty-one gold medals marks a new record for the program. “DuPage County ACT-SO has emerged as the top-performing STEM program as a result of the partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. Our students’ abilities are stretched as they perform STEM research at a high level of rigor with the guidance of their Argonne mentor.” said Flucas Payton. “In addition to STEM, our students in the Humanities and other areas also continue to shine, making DuPage County ACT-SO a major competitor at every national competition. I can’t wait to see what our students do in San Antonio!”

    Argonne National Laboratory was cited as a critical part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students’ success. 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 ACT-SO high school STEM student is paired with a scientist from Argonne National Laboratory in Darien, who provides mentoring and guidance for the student’s STEM research. The research takes place on site at Argonne. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the program brings in professionals every month to expose the students to careers in various STEM areas.

    The gold medal high school winners bound for the ACT-SO National Competition in San Antonio, Texas in July, are:

    Category Medal Name School Grade Area
    Architecture Gold Jasmine  Walker Neuqua Valley 12th STEM
    Biology Gold Ethan Covington Neuqua Valley 9th STEM
    Biology Silver Zainab Salako Islamic Foundation School 10th STEM
    Biology Bronze Imani Porter Neuqua Valley 11th STEM
    Biology HM Jaylen Timms Glenbard West 11th STEM
    Chemistry Gold Bryson Rivers Bolingbrook 11th STEM
    Chemistry Silver Jordan Sharber Bolingbrook 11th STEM
    Chemistry Bronze Ahmarea Covington Oswego East 10th STEM
    Chemistry HM John Bonds III Providence St. Mel 12th STEM
    Computer Science Gold Nneka Onwuta St. Charles East 12th STEM
    Computer Science Silver Justin Austin Providence St. Mel 12th STEM
    Computer Science Bronze James Morrissette Bolingbrook 9th STEM
    Dramatics Gold Jordan Sharber Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Dramatics Bronze Avia Wideman Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Drawing Gold Erica Neal Bolingbrook 11th Visual Arts
    Drawing Silver Amirah Yessoufou Neuqua Valley 12th Visual Arts
    Drawing Bronze Alexis  Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Visual Arts
    Earth and Space Sciences Bronze Kyla Wesley Metea Valley 12th STEM
    Engineering Gold Justin Austin Providence St. Mel 12th STEM
    Engineering Silver Joshua Lambert Glenbard East 12th STEM
    Engineering Bronze Jasmine  Walker Neuqua Valley 12th STEM
    Entrepreneurship Gold Imani Porter Neuqua Valley 11th Business
    Filmmaking HM Veo Taylor Bolingbrook 12th Visual Arts
    Instrumental Classical Gold Myles Henderson Downers Grove South 12th Performing Arts
    Instrumental Contemporary Silver Myles Henderson Downers Grove South 12th Performing Arts
    Instrumental Contemporary Bronze Amber Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Performing Arts
    Mathematics Gold Erik Imathiu-Jones Providence St. Mel 11th STEM
    Medicine HM Dominique Browder Plainfield East 9th STEM
    Medicine and Health Gold Allyson Amegashie Neuqua Valley 11th STEM
    Medicine and Health Silver Cameron Sharber Bolingbrook 9th STEM
    Medicine and Health Bronze Micaela Wesley Metea Valley 12th STEM
    Music Composition Gold Myles Henderson Downers Grove South 12th Humanities
    Oratory Gold Alexis  Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Performing Arts
    Oratory Silver Justin Bolden Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Oratory HM Jade Harlan Bolingbrook 10th Performing Arts
    Original Essay Gold Mariel Thompson Naperville North 12th Humanities
    Original Essay Bronze Whitney Ford Plainfield East 12th Humanities
    Painting Bronze Nicholas Brown Chicago High School for The Arts 11th Visual Arts
    Photography Gold Adam Collins Plainfield East 11th Visual Arts
    Photography Silver Noah Jones Downers Grove South 9th Visual Arts
    Photography Bronze Daiyah Reeves Bolingbrook 9th Visual Arts
    Physics Gold Erik Imathiu-Jones Providence St. Mel 11th STEM
    Physics HM Andrew McElroy Bolingbrook 9th STEM
    Poetry - Written Gold Avia Wideman Bolingbrook 11th Humanities
    Poetry - Written Silver Jamia Chrusfield Glenbard East 12th Humanities
    Poetry Performance Gold Avia Wideman Bolingbrook 11th Performing Arts
    Sculpture Gold Alexis  Johnson Bolingbrook 12th Visual Arts
    Short Story Gold Zainab Salako Islamic Foundation School 10th Humanities
    Vocal Contemporary Gold Riziki Covington Neuqua Valley 12th Performing Arts
     

    The Seventeen DuPage County ACT-SO High School Gold Medalists that were awarded twenty-one gold medals. Photographer - Michael Henderson, Sr


    The Jr. ACT-SO Middle School Team Competition was held on March 3, 2018 at Glenbard South High School. The junior gold medal team, dubbed “Solution Squad”, was coached by Faiza Coleman-Salako and Theresa Purchase. Their Technical Mentors was George Shores. The team was comprised of the following five students:

    • LaTyla Goodwin – Kamarek MS – 7th Grade
    • Miles Gray – Troy Middle School – 8th Grade
    • Kabreah Gunter – Aux Sable Middle School – 8th Grade
    • Dawud Salako – Islamic Foundation School – 5th Grade
    • Auri Watson – Jane Addams Middle School – 7th Grade 
     

    The Solution Squad Jr. ACT-SO Gold Medal Team with their coaches and technical mentor at the Awards Banquet. Photographer - Michael Henderson 


    DuPage County ACT-SO is a program of the DuPage County Branch of the NAACP. Since its 1979 inception, the program has partnered with the College of DuPage (COD). COD and other key sponsors and partners including Argonne National Laboratory; Glenbard District 87/Glenbard South High School; The Village of Bolingbrook and its mayor, Roger C. Claar; Jack and Jill of America West Suburban Chicago Chapter; Dr. Benny and Mrs. Kim White; Comcast; and the West Towns(IL) chapter of The Links, Inc.; were all recognized at the banquet for their support of the program. 

    The next step for the high school gold medalists is to prepare for the National ACT-SO Competition, which will take place in San Antonio, Texas in July, 2018. There, the DuPage County gold medalists will compete against approximately 600 other gold medalists from around the nation. The not-for-profit organization is now shifting to focus to raise the rest of the funds needed to send the gold medalists to the National ACT-SO Competition (about $1,000 per student). Donations can be made on their website: www.dupageact-so.org.

    The complete list of 2018 Local Competition winners for the High School ACT-SO and Jr. ACT-SO programs will be available at www.dupageact-so.org or by contacting Dorletta Payton, Chairperson at Dorletta.Payton@dupageact-so.org.

    About the DuPage County ACT-SO Program

    The Afro-Academic, 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.

    ACT-SO "The Olympics of the Mind" is rooted in the firm conviction that African-Americans can succeed and compete at the same or superior levels as their counterparts in classrooms, boardrooms and laboratories across this nation and aboard. The objective of ACT-SO is to prepare, recognize and reward African-American youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence. The ACT-SO goals are:

    • To mobilize the adult community for the promotion of academics and artistic excellence among African American students.
    • To recognize academic achievement among African American students in a manner commensurate with the recognition afforded athletics.
    • To provide and assist African-American students with the necessary skills and tools to establish goals and acquire the confidence and training to make a successful contribution to society.

    NAACP branches and youth units throughout the country conduct annual competitions for students in grades 9 - 12 in the categories of Entrepreneurship, STEM, Humanities, Performing and Visual Arts. The top winners from the local competitions then compete against the winners from other cities at the national ACT-SO finals held during the NAACP's Annual Convention in July.

    DuPage County ACT-SO’s middle school Jr. ACT-SO program provides a platform for 6th – 8th grade students to improve their analytical, problem-solving, and STEM-related competencies while building their social, presentation and teamwork skills. The program also brings a greater understanding of social and business issues on a local and global level. The students from learn about researching, technical writing, programming web pages, team building and public speaking.

    The national ACT-SO high school program has helped nearly 300,000 young people open new doors to learning and define career paths since it was founded 40 years ago. Today there are more than 150 ACT-SO chapters around the country helping youth discover and develop their academic and artistic talents.

    ### 


  • March 27, 2018 11:50 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Read the flattering Bolingbrook PATCH.COM article highlighting the 7 local students going to compete at nationals.

    The article begins:

    "BOLINGBROOK, IL — Bolingbrook High School will be well represented at the National ACT-SO Competition this summer. In the month of July, in San Antonio, Texas, seven Bolingbrook students will attend the competition after winning gold medals in the DuPage County trial..."


    >>Read Full PATCH.COM Article

  • March 16, 2018 7:01 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    DuPage County ACT-SO Competition 

    Saturday, March 17th, 2018 from 9 am – 1 pm
    College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL


    FREE and Open to the Public – Enter through SSC at 8:40 am Public Viewing of Projects from 12 noon – 1 pm – SRC 2000


    Latest competition schedule:

    >> 2018 Competition Schedule (pdf)

  • March 08, 2018 12:02 AM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Deadline has been extended for banquet ticket purchases to March 11th, 2018.  Tickets can be purchased online from the DuPage County ACT-SO website at www.dupageact-so.org.


    For additional information contact:

    Banquet Chairperson – LaBrenda Slayton, labrenda_slayton@att.net

    or

    Director of Finance - Yvonne Taylor, yvonne.taylor@dupageact-so.org 



  • February 08, 2018 1:20 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    Excerpt from Daily Herald web article titled "COD students learn through partnerships with Fermi, Argonne" -

    "College of DuPage is proud to have long-standing relationships with both Argonne and Fermilab. With an increased national focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), these partnerships are an essential component to our programs of study."

    >> To Read the Full Article...

  • February 07, 2018 7:06 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    View and share the latest DuPage ACT-SO Newsletter or if you missed out on a prior issue of our 2017-2018 newsletters, take a look at our newsletter archive.

    *Note: It has been reported that some versions of the Microsoft Windows default Mail Program do not show the Newsletter images properly for some viewers. This issue does not seem to happen for any other email viewer (gmail, yahoo, outlook, etc).  This is a known issue and hopefully will fixed in the future. In the meantime, if you cannot view those images you can always view the pdf version  in the newsletter archive switch to a different email viewer.

    Feb. 2018 Newsletter (pdf) 

    View the newsletter archive

  • January 31, 2018 7:21 PM | Claude Lee (Administrator)

    SYDNEY FINLEY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

    Sponsored by the DuPage County NAACP!

     Scholarship Information

    Open: Jan 21 2017
    Close: Feb 12 2017

    Scholarship amounts range from $500 - $1000!!

    Applicant and parent must be members of DuPage County NAACP!

    Scholarship Registration Link:
    https://tinyurl.com/y9gh4k7u

    Scholarship requirements and submission details NAACP Membership Link:
    www.dupagecountynaacp.org/membership


    The DuPage County NAACP is pleased to announce the 2018 Sydney Finley Memorial Scholarship essay competition. Sydney Finley, Jr. is known for his exemplary service to the NAACP as the regional director in the 1960’s and the executive director of the Chicago Southside Branch for six years. The scholarship was established to honor his service and commitment to civil justice, as well as his dedication to our youth and community.

    The scholarship is open to high school seniors, graduating in the spring of 2018 from a high school in DuPage, Will, Kendall and Kane counties.

    To participate, applicants and at least one parent/guardian must be a member of the DuPage County NAACP branch by February 5, 2018. The cost of membership is $10 for youth and $30 for adults. To join, students and one parent should click on to: www.dupagecountynaacp.org/membership.

    The essay contest will be open from January 21 thru February 12, 2018! 

    [Download 2018 Sydney Finley Flyer (pdf)]
    [Download Letter to Schools and Organizations (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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