Excited. Focused. Grateful.

Faith EarleyFaith Earley is a recent graduate of the Thacher School in Ojai, California. In the fall, she will attend either Cornell University or Harvard University. If she attends Cornell University, she will study Business in the Hospitality industry in the Samuel Curtis Johnson School of Business. If she attends Harvard University, she will study American History with a concentration in African-American Studies. Faith was initially introduced to ACT-SO by a family friend who recommended the program for its rich opportunities to showcase students’ skills and talents. She had also witnessed her older brother and cousin participate in ACT-SO and, since they had such a phenomenal experience, she decided to join too. She competed at the 2017 local NAACP Pasadena ACT-SO branch competition in the Original Essay category, where she placed as a gold medalist for her essay titled, Black Women in the Workplace. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Faith has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

ACT-SO History

Faith received two gold medals at the 2016 local NAACP Pasadena ACT-SO branch competition in the Photography and Original Essay categories. She then traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio for the national competition, where, unfortunately, she did not place in either category. Despite the results, Faith is grateful for her experience and is excited to compete on the national stage again this year.

Three Words to Describe Feelings about National Competition

Excited, focused and grateful. Faith is excited because she is looking forward to traveling to a new city, meeting talented youth from around the nation and enjoying her experience as a whole. She is focused because, after all, it is a competition. This will be her last year competing in an ACT-SO competition, so she feels that this is the perfect time to bring home a medal. Lastly, Faith is grateful to have been a part of the ACT-SO program. It has provided her with the opportunity to compete in two national competitions and meet some amazing individuals who have truly impacted her life.

Nerves & Excitement

Faith is far more comfortable competing in this year’s national competition compared to last year’s because she now knows what to expect. She is excited to, not only showcase her work, but to take the time to witness and appreciate the accomplishments of other students too. This is her third time attending a national ACT-SO competition, her second time actually competing, so Faith is not very nervous. The Original Essay category requires an interview with the judges, which is a component of the competition that she cannot truly prepare for other than by completely knowing the in’s and out’s of her work. Faith is confident and looking forward to taking in the full experience of her last competition. She wants to watch as many performances and observe as many works as she can on competition day. She is also looking forward to socializing and connecting with members of other ACT-SO branches. Throughout this competition, Faith hopes to gain another positive experience while being surrounded by the Black excellence that fills each competition room, hall or theater, during the competition.

ACT-SO Impact

Living in a world dominated by whiteness, ACT-SO has been a refreshing experience for Faith. It has been inspiring for her to witness young Black youth, just like herself, striving for excellence. She is also proud to see adults, who were once in her position, be successful and serve as a true inspiration to those around them.


“DO IT. Pick a passion of yours and use ACT-SO as a way to explore it. That gold medal, your ticket to nationals, could open so many doors. You’ll get to travel to a new city [and] be around people your age with similar interests and goals. You could meet someone that leads you to an opportunity you never knew about, [or] even put it on your college resume! ACT-SO is a valuable experience that I recommend to anyone considering it.” – Faith Earley

We wish you the best of luck, Faith, in the 2017 national competition!


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