2021 NAACP San Diego Branch ACT-SO Competition

ACT-SO Competition Guide




The NAACP San Diego Branch ACT-SO Program will hold the culminating event of the local 2020-2021 season on April 24th, 2021, via Zoom.

ACT-SO (the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics) is a free scholarship program offered by the NAACP to recognize and reward our youth for their scholastic and artistic achievements. Because they are too often overlooked, the program is designed to highlight African-American high school students. With ACT-SO, young achievers will be paired with a knowledgeable and experienced mentor for months of coaching and development within any 3 of the 32 areas of competition. These include performing arts, culinary arts, visual arts, architecture, business, STEM, and humanities. Enrichment activities are held every month to better prepare our students for success.


Outstanding Judging Needs

If you have a four-year degree or professional experience in any of these fields and would be willing to judge student projects, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/actso-judge and sign up!


For Everyone: Orientation Sessions!

All judges, students and parents should attend one of our orientation sessions:


7pm Tues April 13th

The slides are available online.




You have been emailed individual instructions, including the zoom links for your competitions.  You may also refer to:

2021-04-24 Competition Student Instructions



2021-04-24 ACT-SO Judging Instructions

Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics

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 24th, 2021) there will be a virtual local competition for the students, with expert judges. Work that achieves the highest standard will get the student a spot in the national ACT-SO competition in July 2021. The NAACP San Diego Branch will cover travel expenses to Charlotte, NC, if conditions permit travel; otherwise, the competition will be virtual.


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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Nothing from Sat, Jun 19, 2021 to Sun, Sep 19, 2021.