Explore Your Passions

Each year, high school students across the country start a journey to sharpen their skills through the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO). From visual arts and business to performing and culinary arts, participants work with community-based volunteers for a year to develop projects and performances. The experience culminates in local and national events where students compete for scholarships and other rewards.

An Enduring Legacy of Black Excellence

ACT-SO aims to:

  • Recognize creative talent and academic achievement in the next generation of leaders.
  • Provide and assist students with the necessary skills to establish goals and acquire the confidence and training to make a successful contribution to society.
  • Mobilize adults to promote academic and artistic excellence.
young people have participated in ACT-SO, as of 2021
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Who’s Eligible 

To participate in ACT-SO you must be:

  • Of African American descent.
  • A citizen of the United States or hold a permanent resident visa card.
  • Enrolled in grades 9-12 at the time of application.
  • An amateur (having not received wages for professional services) in the categories of competition.
  • Participants in the annual national ACT-SO competition are chosen from the local competitions.