Excited. Anxious. Nervous.

Kristal Grindley 2Kristal Grindley is a rising junior at Wyandanch Memorial High School in Wyandanch, New York. She was introduced to ACT-SO last year by her science teacher, who suggested to her entire class that they each participate in the program. When she joined, she was not expecting to win the competition; however, to her surprise, she proved to be quite the competitor. This year, she competed in the 2017 local Huntington ACT-SO branch competition in the Short Story category, where she won a gold medal for her short story titled, I Am Not the Stereotype. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Kristal has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Nervous. Happy. Hopeful.

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Jameria Stevenson (far left) wearing her medals at the 2017 local Kansas City ACT-SO branch competition.

Jameria Stevenson graduated from African Centered Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Missouri in 2017. In the fall, she will attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in New York, New York,  where she plans to study Theater Arts. She was initially attracted to the ACT-SO program because it presented her with an opportunity to perform and compete against other talented performers to earn college scholarships. Jameria was also interested in the program because it allows Black youth the be properly represented in areas in which they are often underrepresented. She competed in the 2017 local Kansas City ACT-SO branch competition in the Dramatics category, where she received a gold medal for her performance of Nat Turner’s monologue, Last Struggle. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Jameria has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Joyful. Excited. Nervous.

Jordyn Blythe.pngJordan Blythe is a rising senior at University High School in Normal, Illinois. She was originally attracted to ACT-SO because she is a very competitive person, and she enjoys showcasing her talents. She loved the program because it encourages Black youth to break stereotypes and pushes them to become the best individuals that they can be. She competed in the 2017 local Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO branch competition in two categories, Oratory and Music: Instrumental Classical. She received a gold medal in the Oratory category for her speech titled, Black Privilege, and she received another gold medal in the Music: Instrumental Classical category for her performance of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Jordyn has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Excited. Passionate. Grateful.

Tayla OliverTayla Oliver is a rising junior at Rio Ranch High School in Rio Ranch, New Mexico. She was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because it was founded by the renowned and reputable NAACP organization. She competed in the 2017 local Albuquerque ACT-SO branch competition in the Entrepreneurship category, where she won a gold medal for her project titled, Giving Hope Inc. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Tayla has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Grateful. Excited. Joyful.

Amina Bolden

Amina Bolden (third from left) holding certificate from 2017 local ACT-SO competition.

Amina Bolden is a rising senior at Warren High School in Downey, California. She was initially introduced to the ACT-SO program by her mother. After further research, Amina decided to join because she wanted to improve her performance skills and compete against other talented singers. She competed in the 2017 local San Gabriel Valley ACT-SO branch competition in the Vocal Contemporary category, where she received a gold medal for her performance of the song, Change, by Christina Aguilera. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Amina has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Anxious. Excited. Nervous.

Sharene DoyleSharene Doyle is a recent graduate of Franklin High School in Somerset, New Jersey. She will attend Hampton University, in the fall, where she plans to study Mass Communication. She was originally introduced to the ACT-SO program by her mentor, Brandi Pinnix, who encouraged her to join, due to her extreme passion for dance. In the beginning, she competed just for fun; however, over time, to her surprise, Sharene became a phenomenal competitor. She competed in the 2017 local New Brunswick Area ACT-SO branch competition in the Contemporary Dance category , where she received a gold medal for her piece titled, Red Dust. 

Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Sharene has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

 

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Nervous. Excited. Happy.

Brittney MortonBrittney Morton is a rising senior at Pike High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because it was an opportunity for her to showcase and evaluate her skills, while competing against some of the best talent across the country. Brittney competed at the 2017 local Greater Indianapolis ACT-SO branch competition in the Photography category, where she received a gold medal for her project titled, Radiance, Strength and Natural Beauty. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Brittney has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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Nervous. Excited. Grateful.

Lien TangLien Tang is a rising senior from Manzano High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was originally attracted to the ACT-SO program because it focuses on both the arts and STEM fields. She was also interested in the opportunity to meet new people who have similar interests and passions as she does. Lien competed at the 2017 local Albuquerque ACT-SO branch competition in the Biology category, where she received a gold medal for her project titled, Drosophila Mutant holdup Arises from a Mutation in a Gene Required for Muscle Integrity. Due to her accomplishments in the local competition, Lien has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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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!

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Ambitious. Nervous. Brave.

Josephine SesayJosephine Sesay graduated from Franklin High School in Somerset, New Jersey in June 2017. She will attend Rutgers University, in the fall, where she plans to study Biology, specifically the Physician’s Assistant track. Seeing that it was a program filled with Black excellence, Josephine was immediately attracted to the ACT-SO program. She wanted to surround herself with great people like the ones she saw participate in ACT-SO. Josephine competed at the 2017 local New Brunswick Area ACT-SO branch competition in the Vocal Contemporary category, where she received a gold medal for her performance of Scott Alan’s song, Anything Worth Holding On To. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Josephine has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!

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