Standing from left are Jabari Ashford, Julian McKinney, Alvin Norman and Maxwell Fairman. Sitting from left are Kirsten Banieh, Adrea Udosen, Celestina Opoku-Bamfoh, Thelma Okafor and Chinonye Uwaezuoke. Photo provided.
By Theresa Harper
Cincinnati ACT-SO Chair
The Cincinnati local competition for the Afro-Academics Cultural Technological Science Olympics (ACT-SO) was held on April 28 at Walnut Hills High School. ACT-SO is a Talent and Academic Enrichment Program that culminates in local competitions at yearend in 32 distinct competition areas.
The focus of ACT-SO is to encourage, motivate, inspire and promote excellence in those areas and that mindset usually spreads in every other area of their lives. The high school students work with mentors, attend educational workshops and subsequently showcase their individual projects/performances at the local competitions.
The Cincinnati NAACP members are extremely proud of all the competitors and the various schools that participated. From that competition, 14 youth received gold medals in 18 categories went on to represent Cincinnati at the national competition, which was held in Detroit, Michigan, in July.
The competitors and their respective competition categories were as follows: Jabari Ashford, drawing; Kirsten Banieh, entrepreneurship and poetry written; Bri-Atia Birchmore, poetry performance and photography; Lauryn Dixon, dance contemporary, Maxwell Fairman, instrumental classical; Zoie Lambert, oratory; Julian McKinney, painting; Alvin Norman, instrumental contemporary; Thelma Okafor, medicine/health, and dramatics; Elizabeth Olaore, music vocal-contemporary, Celestina Opoku-Bamfoh, dance traditional, and sculpture; Andrea Udosen, short story; Chinonye Uwaezoke, chemistry/microchemistry; Madyson Walker, biology/biochemistry.
Maxwell Fairman, whom competed in musical instrumental classical, was successful in receiving a gold medal at the National ACT-SO Competition as well.
Do you know a high school student in grade 9-12 that has extraordinary talent and passion to achieve excellence? We are now accepting applications for our 2019/2020 ACT-SO programs. Contact the Cincinnati NAACP, which sponsors ACT-SO, for an application and guidelines for each category. Application deadline ends February 28, 2019. Theresa Harper, ACT-SO chair, Robert Richardson Sr., president, can be reached at 513 281-1900, or at 3494 NAACP offices at Reading Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.cincinnatinaacp.com/
Richardson said, “We are extremely thankful for our financial sponsors, Proctor & Gamble, which has supported ACT-SO since its inception. We also are truly thankful for the numerous judges, mentors, workshop sponsors and other volunteers that help throughout the year and during the local competition. Thank you for lending us your talent and time. They walk away from their business and careers to lend a hand. We need over a hundred of volunteers each year. Contact the Cincinnati NAACP to volunteer, donate, or sign up a student to participate. All schools may participate. It is open to the entire region.’’