The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

ACT-SO includes 32 competitions in STEM, humanities, business, and performing, visual and culinary arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.

For over forty years the mission of ACT-SO has been to prepare, recognize and reward youth of African descent who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence.

Read a message from Larry Brown Jr, NAACP ACT-SO National Director.

ACT-SO Mission

The goals of ACT-SO are:

  • To mobilize the adult community for the promotion of academic and artistic excellence.
  • To recognize creative talent and academic achievement.
  • To provide and assist students with the necessary skills to establish goals and acquire the confidence and training to make a successful contribution to society.


ACT-SO 101: Learn everything you need to know to compete. >


Guides and Toolkits

Toolkits, guides, calendars and updates for local ACT-SO leaders, students and parents.

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ACT-SO History and Founder

ACT-SO was founded in 1978 by journalist Vernon Jarrett.

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Contact ACT-SO National

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ACT-SO 101

Including 32 competitions, students can select up to 3 competitions from a total of 29 offerings.

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2016-17 ACT-SO Program Roster

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