Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics
ACT-SO – the Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, is a youth program under the administrative aegis of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). ACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program designed to encourage high academic and cultural achievement among underserved minority high school students. ACT-SO relies on community volunteers and business leaders to serve as mentors and coaches in promoting academic and artistic excellence among African-American and Hispanic students. By providing an arena where students strive to excel in the sciences, arts and humanities, ACT-SO equips its participants with the skills to live meaningful lives.
In 1977 Vernon Jarrett of Chicago, a renowned author, civil rights activist and journalist, initiated the idea of a program that would promote and reward young academic achievers the same way sports heroes are honored. The first national ACT-SO competition was held in 1978 in Portland, Oregon.
"We must never write off the potential for greatness among any of our beleaguered youth. Never!"
--Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO founder (1918 – 2004)
Mission: For over thirty years the mission of ACT-SO has been to prepare, recognize and reward youth of African descent who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence.
The goals of ACT-SO are:
To mobilize the adult community for the promotion of academic and artistic excellence.
To recognize creative talent and academic achievement.
To provide and assist students with the necessary skills to establish goals and acquire the confidence and training to make a successful contribution to society.