102nd Annual NAACP Convention in Los Angeles
(New York City, NY) – Three Brooklyn high school students brought home medals from the NAACP’s 33rd annual Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) in Los Angeles, California. The five-day event capped months of local competition in which high school from students around the country jockeyed for a spot to compete in nationals. The 26 categories ranged from the performing arts and music to mathematics, biology and business.
Arhea Marshall, a 12th grader at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering, won the Gold medal in Biology/Microbiology. Crystal Burgess, an 11th grader at the Manhattan Center High School for Science, won the Gold medal in Physics and Malik Williams, silver medallist in architecture. All three young scholars are affiliated with the Brooklyn NAACP Branch.
More than 1200 gold medallists, chairpersons, youth observers and supporters convened in Los Angeles July 20-24 for the national competition. The July 24 award ceremony was hosted by actress Rocsi and featured performances by Venus Williams, Julia Pace and Bobby Soto, among others.
Previous ACT-SO contestants and winners include filmmaker John Singleton, musician Kanye West and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
“The 33rd National ACT-SO Competition showcased our country’s best and brightest. Thousands of adults, community and corporate volunteers lent their efforts to this annual mammoth undertaking,” stated Anana Kambon, ACT-SO National Executive Director. “These young competitors are the architects and innovators who will influence our changing world. The NAACP is honored to provide a platform for their exhibition of excellence.”
“ACT-SO has a record of producing leaders in the arts, sciences and business world,” stated NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “The program is an excellent opportunity for young African Americans from all walks of life to come together, exchange ideas and flourish.”
The ACT-SO program centers on the dedication and commitment of community volunteers and business leaders who serve as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence among African-American students. It was founded by renowned author and journalist Vernon Jarrett in 1978.