2018 ACT-SO competitors with their leaders, Mrs. Reed and Deloris Turner of Peoria Delta Alumnae Chapter
The “3-D” formula that has proven successful is the combination of three key characteristics: Desire, Diligence, and Determination. It is our pleasure to announce the successful outcomes of three exceptional youth who participated in the 2017-2018 NAACP ACT-SO Program.
In the fall of 2017, written communication in the form of flyers and verbal communications were distributed to the Peoria Metro public and private schools, inviting youth, parents, and counsellors to attend informational sessions and ultimately program events. Our goal was to “spark a desire.” The National ACT-SO Program was offered by our local Peoria NAACP in association with a partnership organization of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Peoria Alumnae Chapter. ACT-SO was established in 1978 with the goal of fostering “academic, cultural, technological and scientific olympics” for high school students, grades 9-12 who would be considered amateurs within their categories of competition. ACT-SO centers around the dedication and commitment of community volunteers and business leaders who serve as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence. There were 27 categories for activity within 6 major headings. The headings were STEM, Humanities, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Business, and Culinary. Participants (our Olympians) selected from areas of interest that ranged from poetry-written, Dance (contemporary, modern, traditional), music (instrumental and/or vocal), painting, drawing, and culinary arts
Student Olympians met regularly with their coaches/mentors as they developed skills and competences within their selected categories. Additionally, monthly activities included valuable times focused on enrichment sessions. It was during these enrichment sessions that topics were discussed including “Effective communication”, “Tips when job hunting,” and “Searching for the College of your Choice.”
The richness of ACT-SO is that it is a competition that encourages student Olympians to work with coach/mentors to strengthen/refine their talents, gifts, and skills. And as this refinement takes place, the student Olympian becomes eligible for local competition. This past year, 12 Olympians participated in the local ACT-SO completion. An outcome of this competition was the recognition of 3 Gold medal winners! What an exciting time!
Because ACT-SO is a national program, all local gold medalists, throughout the country, were eligible to compete at the national competition. From the Peoria Metro area, three student Olympians, Semaj Owens, Mackenzie Sippel, and Lynette Shaw, who were our gold medal winners travelled, all expenses paid by our local NAACP chapter, to San Antonio, Texas, to participate in the national competition! We are so proud of their “Desire, Diligence, and Determination”!
Special appreciation to all who encouraged our student Olympians. The outcome of this experience has added another “brick” in each of their personal foundations of self-confidence and empowerment!