Decatur, GA—Youths in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) DeKalb County branch won five medals during this year’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition.
The competition was hosted virtually July 8-11 during the national NAACP conference. High school students from across the country participated in the academic and cultural competition.
Freda Hammonds, ACT-SO Chair of the DeKalb NAACP branch, attributes the success of the program to the commitment of its talented students volunteer mentors who provided the guidance to the students.
“We had 35 students to participate in 23 categories including drawing, painting, written poetry, short stories, instrumental classical, architecture and dance,” said Hammonds, who has worked with DeKalb’s ACT-SO program since 2012.
Hammonds said Layla Alexis White, one of the students who represented DeKalb, medaled in two categories.
Hammonds said since the program was held virtually, students from New Orleans, Alabama and Mississippi joined the DeKalb NAACP’s program.
“There were people who heard about our program who wanted to participate and the national NAACP allowed them to join DeKalb’s virtual program. That was one of the positive things that happened aa a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hammonds.
DeKalb’s 2021 ACT-SO medalists are:
Layla Alexis White – Dramatic Arts: Acting -Silver Medal
Layla Alexis White – Dance: Modern -Silver Medal
Josiah O’Conner – Music: Classical Instrumental – Silver Medal
Sultan Ziyad – Stem: Architecture – Silver Medal
Daraja Maye – Visual Arts: Photography – Bronze Medal
“I am so proud of our youths, DeKalb NAACP President Teresa Hardy said. “They really worked hard and were committed to this annual program, working with great mentors.”