Chicago -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn will saluted seven Chicago high school students who took home gold medals for the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP at the 27th Annual Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) regional competition.
Quinn will also wished the seven students success as they head to Philadelphia for the national ACT-SO finals where they will compete with over 1,000 students from across the nation starting on Thursday, July 8.
Founded in 1978 by renowned author and journalist, Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO is an academic competition of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), providing a forum for African-American high school students to demonstrate academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise.
“I salute the success and commitment of these seven Chicago students who have demonstrated scholastic and cultural excellence,” Quinn said. “Winning the gold is a fitting tribute to Vernon Jarrett whose passion to teach young people led him to recognize high academic and cultural achievements among African-American high school students.”
The ACT-SO program provides 25 categories of competition in the sciences, performing arts, humanities, visual arts and entrepreneurship. Gold medalists receive a cash award in the amount of $1,000.
Gold medal winners are Jacob Brooks, Dance; Venson Currington II, Music (Vocal/Classical); Samuel Dew, Drawing; Patricia Easley, Original Essay; Imani Josey, Playwriting; Kenneth Richmond, Architecture; and Alicia Wilson, Poetry.
“Vernon Jarrett was a special person who understood the importance of providing young African-American students with academic opportunities on par with the recognition awarded to athletics,” Quinn said.
ACT-SO conducts annual academic competitions for students in grades 9 through 12 at NAACP branches throughout the country. Participating branches hold local competitions. Top winners from other cities compete at the national ACT-SO finals during the NAACP national convention.