ACT-SO: Developing and Celebrating the Academic Talents of African-American High School Students

Welcome to the informational page for the San Diego Branch of the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition.  We’re glad you’re here, whether you are an African-American High School student looking to enter, or a member of the San Diego community interested in mentoring, judging, recruiting, or assisting!

What is ACT-SO?

The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

ACT-SO includes 32 competitions in STEM, humanities, business, and performing, visual and culinary arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.  (For a very brief description of each category, please see our Categories page.)

For forty years the mission of ACT-SO has been to prepare, recognize and reward youth of African descent who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence.

Yeah, but SPECIFICALLY What is ACT-SO?

Students will, over the course of the school year, prepare a scientific paper, a play, an essay or other academic work (for a full listing, see our Categories page.)  The NAACP will provide mentorship and assistance all along the way.  At the end of the school year (specifically, April 27th, 2019) there will be a local showcase of student work, with expert judges.  Work that achieves the highest standard will get the student a spot in the national ACT-SO competition in Detroit, July 18th-21st.  The NAACP San Diego Branch will cover travel expenses.

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.

Important Dates:

January 31st, 2019: Deadline for guaranteed acceptance into the program
April 27th, 2019: San Diego ACT-SO Showcase
July18th-21st, 2019: National ACT-SO Competition (Detroit, MI)

If you are an African-American high school student looking to polish and show off your skills to earn scholarship money and the potential to compete nationally, sign up today!

Are you interested in seeing African-American youth succeed?  Share what you know.  Maybe you can mentor a student in STEM or Dance.  Maybe you can help them develop business savvy.  Maybe you have life wisdom to share.  We need YOU to help our young people.  Sign up today!

The Committee

Renita Payno
- ACT-SO Co-Chair -

Renita is a veteran, the owner and sole proprietor of her own small business, and a mother of two. You will find her at many community events; just ask the ...

Kamaria Allen
- ACT-SO Committee Member -

Kamaria has degrees in English and Psychology, has extensive administrative experience and currently works as a counselor to persons with developmental disabilities, and also volunteers with children and adults. She ...

Philip Liburd
- Member at Large, ACT-SO Committee Member -

Maisha Kudumu
- ACT-SO Committee Member -

Maisha comes from a family of educators and was herself a three-time ACT-SO participant and Gold Medalist.

Mentors

Elena
- STEM: (Bio)Chemistry -

Elena is a staff member at the Salk Institute

Ashley-Nicole
- Entrepreneurship, Humanities: Essay, Humanities: Short Story, Humanities: Written Poetry, Performing Arts: Poetry Performance -

Kamaria
- Mentor - Essay, Poetry, Playwriting and Oratory -

Kamaria has degrees in English and Psychology, has extensive administrative experience and currently works as a counselor to persons with developmental disabilities, and also volunteers with children and adults. She ...

Bobby
- Mentor - Entrepreneurship, Music -

Besides being Kamaria's husband and father of two, Bobby grew up inside his family's music business, and ran his own restaurant. While he sold the restaurant and sadly won't be ...

Judges

Jasmine
- Entrepreneurship, Humanities: Playwriting, Performing Arts: Dance: Ballet, Performing Arts: Dance: Contemporary, Performing Arts: Dance: Modern, Performing Arts: Dance: Traditional, Performing Arts: Dramatics (Staged Play), STEM: Computer Science, STEM: Engineering, STEM: Mathematics, STEM: Physics -

Ms. Jasmine lives her life on purpose through her company, The STEAM Collaborative, which educates children, parents and community stakeholders about STEM from an artistic perspective. Jasmine works as a ...

Avery
- Entrepreneurship, STEM: Computer Science, STEM: Engineering, STEM: Mathematics -

Avery is an engineer with Solar Turbines

Elena
- STEM: (Bio)Chemistry -

Elena is a staff member at the Salk Institute

Ashley-Nicole
- Entrepreneurship, Humanities: Essay, Humanities: Short Story, Humanities: Written Poetry, Performing Arts: Poetry Performance -

Ryn Corbeil
- Judge - Poetry -

Ryn Corbeil is making the jump from an Engineering career to Poetry. He likes to refer to this as "going over to the light side."

Vera Sanchez
- Judge - Poetry, Essay -

  Vera Sanchez is an adjunct professor of English at Grossmont College, and a Social Work Counselor for the San Diego Regional Center.

Darwin Fishman
- Judge - Essay -

Tomás Gayton
- Judge - Poetry -

Tomás Gayton is a retired Civil Rights attorney and poet. His latest volume is "Jazz Heaven," a volume of Jazz Poetry.

Earl Vaults
- Judge - Music -

Earl Vaults graduated from SDSU with a BA in music. He studied the saxophone with Harvey Pittel from USC, a world renowned classical saxophonist. He's played with R&B group The ...

Dr André J. Branch
- Judge - Essay, Poetry -

Beside being President of the NAACP San Diego, Dr Branch is a professor of Education at San Diego State University, and holds a degree in English and a PhD in ...

Quis Colion
- Judge - Music, Poetry -

Quis Colion, 35, is a Black artist, Black poet and Black entrepreneur. He is a United States Air Force veteran. He has a Bachelor's of Science in audio production from ...

ACT-SO related events:

Mon, Feb 18, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Feb 18, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Feb 25, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Feb 25, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Mar 4, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Mar 4, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Thu, Mar 7, 2019
  • ACT-SO Committee Meeting (details)
    Thu, Mar 7, 2019  4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Jacobs Center For Neighborhood Innovation 404 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA 92114, United States

Mon, Mar 11, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Mar 11, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Mar 18, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Mar 18, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Mar 25, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Mar 25, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Apr 1, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Apr 1, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Thu, Apr 4, 2019
  • ACT-SO Committee Meeting (details)
    Thu, Apr 4, 2019  4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Jacobs Center For Neighborhood Innovation 404 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA 92114, United States

Mon, Apr 8, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Apr 8, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Apr 15, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Apr 15, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Mon, Apr 22, 2019
  • ACT-SO Weekly (details)
    Mon, Apr 22, 2019  9:00 am - 10:00 am
    Online

    Steve Dorner is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: ACT-SO Weekly
    Time: Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every week on Mon, until Apr 22, 2019, 11 occurrence(s)
    Feb 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Feb 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 4, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 11, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 18, 2019 9:00 AM
    Mar 25, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 1, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 8, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 15, 2019 9:00 AM
    Apr 22, 2019 9:00 AM
    Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
    Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/280901188/ics?icsToken=21d89d101d98249cba03462d79247e929da370f1574bb9d5500abd84f33ea490

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/280901188

    One tap mobile
    +14086380968,,280901188# US (San Jose)
    +16465588656,,280901188# US (New York)

    Dial by your location
    +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 280 901 188
    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a9QZnbrNe


Sat, Apr 27, 2019
  • ACT-SO Showcase (details)
    Sat, Apr 27, 2019


Thu, May 2, 2019
  • ACT-SO Committee Meeting (details)
    Thu, May 2, 2019  4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Jacobs Center For Neighborhood Innovation 404 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA 92114, United States

Keep in Touch!

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ACT-SO News

ACT-SO So Far

ACT-SO is off to a strong start in 2019.  We have many students signed up to compete in lots of categories, along with a strong ...
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Service Opportunities

in the NAACP San Diego Branch Executive Committee The NAACP San Diego Branch, founded in 1919 and dedicated to the Civil Rights of all persons ...
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Games Our Brains Play

Join ACT-SO and Rosanne Rademaker from UCSD at the Skyline Hills Branch Library at 2pm on Saturday, January 26th for a fascinating exploration of how ...
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ACT-SO Builds Robots with lilStar

ACT-SO enabled six students to join lilStar’s BUILD Robots day.   This was a fun day for the kids, who got to build actual autonomous robots ...
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Chow Down and College Up: ACT-SO Visits the HBCU Expo

There is an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Expo happening at the Jacobs Center on January 19th, from 2-6pm.  Join the ACT-SO crew for ...
Read more