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DuPage County ACT-SO Students First in the Country at the National ACT-SO Competition in San Antonio, Texas

July 26, 2018 7:30 PM | Anonymous

(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:

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


 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.

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Sponsored by DuPage County Branch-NAACP and Lewis University 

DuPage County ACT-SO
P.O. Box 1546

Bolingbrook, IL 60440

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