Local NAACP ACT-SO students headed to nationals

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Hundreds of students competed in April in the Chicago Westside NAACP’s Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition held at Whitney Young high school.

Hundreds of students competed in April in the Chicago Westside NAACP’s Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition held at Whitney Young high school.

Saturday, the winners from that event were announced and those who placed Gold in the local competition are headed to the national one in Los Angeles July 20-24.

Created by the late Chicago journalist Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO provides an opportunity for high school students of African heritage to display their skills and talents in 26 different categories representing major categories of sciences, humanities, performing arts, visual arts and entrepreneurship. The NAACP agreed to put this program under its umbrella and to conduct a national competition each year.

Carolyn Hankins-Page, secretary of the Chicago Westside NAACP, said the chapter took nine students to last year’s national competition and brought back a gold medal in playwright and a silver medal in photography. She is looking for even more medals this year. Hankins-Page said the enrichment program that the chapter hosts to prepare students for the local and national competitions offer youth a positive outlet and image.

“We see too many times the negative about our young Black youth and this is something positive in the community,” she said of the enrichment program and the ACT-SO competition.

Students from public schools all over the city and south and west suburbs participate.

Following is a list of this year’s Chicago Westside NAACP ACT-SO winners. Students going on to compete in nationals are indicated with a double asterisk.

Medicine and Health

Olufolabi Agyunloye, Silver Medal

Lane Tech High School

Physics

Olumamide Agunloye, Bronze Medal

Lane Tech High School

Playwriting

Elon Sloan, Silver Medal

Oak Park River Forest High School

Alexa Lisitza , Bronze Medal

Oak Park River Forest High School

Poetry

Christian Robinson, Silver Medal

Oak Park River Forest High School

Tasha Rice, Bronze

Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep

Austin Robinson, Bronze

Homewood Flossmore High School

Dance

Noel Huddleston, Bronze Medal

Homewood /Flossmore High School

Dramatics

Destin Sean Warner, Bronze Medal

Thornton Township High School

Joy Calhoun, Bronze Medal

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Ryan Lewis, Silver Medal

Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep

Destiny Thompson, Gold Medal**

Thornridge High School

Music Instrumental Classical

China Gray, Bronze Medal

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Justus Richardson, Silver Medal

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Breanna Smith, Gold Medal**

Oak Park River Forest High School

Music Vocal Classical

John Clay, Silver Medalist

Oak Park River Forest High School

Music Vocal Contemporary

John Clay, Bronze Medalist

Kayla Robertson, Gold Medalist**

Homewood /Flossmore High School

Oratory

Destin Sean Warner, Bronze Medal

Thornton Township High School

Ashanta Atkinson, Silver Medal

Thornridge High School

Layla West, Gold Medal**

St. Ignatius College Prep

Drawing

Kelia N. Louis, Silver Medal

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Jela McKinney, Gold Medal**

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Filmmaking

Shaondell Black, Gold Medal**

Corliss High School

Painting

Anna Ramirez, Silver Medal

Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep

Photography

Malik Wingard, Silver Medal

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Kelia Nikol Louis, Bronze Medal

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Sculpture

Ebonee Willkins, Gold Medal**

CHIARTS (Chicago School for the Arts)

Entrepreneurship

Ryan Lewis, Bronze

Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep

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