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Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics

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 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)


ACT-SO Results

Recent results of the annual Greater Indianapolis ACT-SO Competition


ACT-SO Competition Categories

A list of all the categories where students can compete in the ACT-SO competition


Enter the Greater Indianapolis ACT-SO Competition

Application forms and instructions for high school students who want to enter the competition


ACT-SO Basics: What You Need to Know

Learn about the ACT-SO competition

    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.

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