Excited. Accomplished. Nervous.

Raven Joseph.JPGRaven Joseph is a junior at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in New York, New York. She was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because of its strong sense of community and great reputation as a national event founded by the NAACP. She competed in the 2017 local Lakeview ACT-SO branch competition in the Modern Dance category, where she received a gold medal for her piece titled, She. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Raven advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this month!

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Excited. Determined. Nervous.

Courtney DraperCourtney Draper is a rising senior at Toledo School for the Arts. She was introduced to the ACT-SO program by one of her high school mentors who headed one of the clubs she was a member of. She competed in the local Toledo ACT-SO branch competition in the Contemporary Dance category, where she received a gold medal for her piece titled, Scars to Your Beautiful. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Courtney has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this week!

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Excited. Nervous. Prepared.

Khamedriah Grimes.jpgKhamedriah Grimes is a rising senior at Notre Dame de Sion High School in Kansas City, Missouri. She was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because one of its main focuses is on Fine Arts, which is her passion. She was also interested in the opportunity to win college scholarships as a reward for winning the competitions. Khamedriah competed in the 2017 local Kansas City ACT-SO branch competition in the Playwright category, where she received a gold medal for her play titled, Confessions of a Tragic Murder? Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Khamedriah has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this week!

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Anxious. Honored. Grateful.

Taylor WynneTaylor Wynne graduated from Beaumont School for Girls in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 2017. In the fall, she will attend Bethune Cookman University, where she will study Elementary Education with a concentration in English and a minor in Religious Studies. She was originally introduced to ACT-SO during one of her NAACP meetings. She realized the many wonderful opportunities that the program offerS to the youth, and she instantly knew that she had to participate. She competed  in the 2017 local Cleveland ACT-SO branch competition in the Oratory category, where she received a gold medal for her piece titled, Dreams. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Taylor has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of this month!

 

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Elated. Anxious. Determined.

Keyara Edwards.pngKeyera Edwards is a rising senior at Toledo Early College in Toledo, Ohio. She was introduced to ACT-SO by her school counselor, Stacey Oxner. After seeing her performance of her piece titled, Pretty Hurts, at her school talent show, Stacey was thoroughly impressed and encouraged Keyera to join the program. When she attended the first ACT-SO meeting, after turning in her paperwork, she was instantly hooked on this unique experience. She was ready to explore a new opportunity and continue to share her poetry with the public. She decided to compete at the local Toledo NAACP ACT-SO branch competition in the Poetry Performance category, and she received a gold medal for her piece titled, I’m Fine. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Keyera has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of this month!

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Excited. Ecstatic. Happy.

Byron HydeByron Hyde recently graduated from Artesia High School in Lakewood, California in 2017. In the fall, he will attend the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he plans to study Vocal Performance. He was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because of its diversity and various competition categories. The program also gave him the opportunity to showcase his vocal talent. He competed in the 2017 local Kansas City Missouri ACT-SO branch competition, where he received a gold medal in the Classical: Vocal category for his performance of Every Valley Shall Be Exalted by Handel’s Messiah.

Due to his accomplishments at the local competition, Byron has advanced to competed at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this month!

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Excited. Nervous. Proud.

Zion MathisZion Mathis graduated from East Saint Louis Senior High School in East Saint Louis, Illinois in June 2017. His plans for college are currently on hold; however, he intends to enroll as a student at Southwestern Illinois College in January of 2018, where he will pursue a major in Video Game Design/Movie Animation. He was initially introduced to ACT-SO by his art teacher who signed him up to join and compete in the program. He competed in the 2017 local East Saint Louis ACT-SO branch competition in the Painting category, where he won a gold medal for his Ying Yang Sun and Moon painting. Due to his accomplishments at the local competition, Zion has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Thrilled. Scared. Excited.

Faith LongnightFaith Longnight is a rising senior at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon. She was initially introduced to ACT-SO by her brother, Simon Longnight, who competed in both the local and national ACT-SO competitions. After hearing about all of the amazing memories he created through the program, Faith could not resist the urge to try it herself. She does not regret her decision to join one bit and is thoroughly enjoying her experience thus far. She competed in the 2017 local Eugene ACT-SO branch competition in the Dance Contemporary category, where she won a gold medal for her dance piece titled, Rise Up. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Faith has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Anxious. Nervous. Excited.

Whitney Ford

Whitney Ford (fourth from left) wearing her local Dupage County ACT-SO competition medal, while standing alongside her fellow local ACT-SO winners & mentors.

Whitney Ford is a rising senior at Plainfield East High School in Plainfield, Illinois. She was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because it was an opportunity for her to learn more about and explore her interests in the STEM field. She competed in the 2017 local Dupage County ACT-SO branch competition in the Poetry: Written and Computer Science categories. She received a silver medal in the Poetry: Written category, and she received a gold medal in the Computer Science category for her project titled, Deep Learning Methods as a Means of Identifying Gender Using Scanned Iris Images. Due to her accomplishment in the Computer Science category of the local competition, Whitney has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Nervous. Excited. Determined.

Lauren NapperLauren Napper is a rising senior at Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was not originally very interested in ACT-SO, and only participated in the program because her mother forced her to join. She had lost her confidence as a dancer because it became too expensive to continue with lessons, causing her to quit. She swore that she would never dance again; however, her mother believed in her more than she believed in herself. Now, she is so happy and grateful that she decided to participate in the program and has had an amazing experience thus far.

Lauren competed at the 2017 local Albuquerque ACT-SO branch competition in the Dance: Contemporary and Dance: Traditional categories. She won a gold medal in the Dance: Contemporary category for her piece titled, I’m Going Down, and she received another gold medal for her Dance: Traditional piece, which is currently unnamed. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Lauren has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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