Eleven students win gold at DuPage ACT-SO Awards

Eleven students were awarded gold medals in 13 categories at this year's DuPage County ACT-SO Awards. The students will move on to compete at the 45th national competition which will be held in Boston in July.

Altogether, 38 students representing 12 area high schools placed in the DuPage County ACT-SO Local Competition held Saturday, March 18, at Lewis University (Oakbrook campus) in the areas of Science, Business, Humanities, Performing Arts and Visual Arts categories.

ACT-SO is an acronym for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, a yearlong enrichment program designed to encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students. The program features three components: mentoring, academic enrichment and a local competition.

"Our ACT-SO Olympians have unlimited potential. ACT-SO provides a supportive environment where students are nurtured as they develop their incredible intellect and talents," said Thomas Reed, Chairperson of the DuPage County ACT-SO program. "Our students are committed to excellence. There is no question that the gold medalists will do exceptionally well at the National ACT-SO Competition."

The gold medal finalists and other winners were acknowledged at the DuPage County ACT-SO awards banquet held at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

In attendance were more than 250 parents, ACT-SO alumni, volunteers and corporate partners, including Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, B-Unity, Lewis University, Elmhurst University, Rotary Club of Naperville, The West Towns (IL) Chapter of The Links, Inc., The Saints, Top Ladies of Distinction (West Suburban Chapter), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Alpha Alpha Sigma Zeta Chapter), The Drifters (Chicago Chapter) and Jack and Jill of America.

This year's gold medal winners include:

• Biology/Microbiology: Amalachukwu Agwuncha, 10th grade, Proviso Math & Science in Forest Park;

• Chemistry: Chandler Brady, ninth grade, Timothy Christian Schools in Elmhurst;

• Computer Science: Paisley Namowicz, 11th grade, Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora;

• Drawing: Jasmine Armstead, 12th grade, Plainfield East High School in Plainfield;

• Earth and Space Science: Bryan Mann, ninth grade, Waubonsie Valley;

• Engineering: Jasmine Armstead, 12th grade, Plainfield East;

• Entrepreneurship: Raina Ford, 12th grade, Fenwick High School in Oak Park;

• Medicine and Health: Daniel Mason, 11th grade, Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville;

• Oratory: Kaylee Wilson, 12th grade, Maine East High School in Park Ridge;

• Original Essay: Raina Ford, 12th grade, Fenwick High School;

• Photography: Gabriella Miller, 12th grade, Maine East High School;

• Poetry Performance: Briana Harris, 10th grade, Neuqua Valley High School;

• Poetry Written: Antonio Agnew, 12th grade, Providence St. Mel in East Garfield Park, Chicago.

DuPage County ACT-SO is a program of the DuPage County Branch of the NAACP and is sponsored by Lewis University. The National ACT-SO program has helped nearly 300,000 young people in 200-plus communities across the country, to be mentored by highly skilled professionals in every field of endeavor to define career paths since its inception 45 years ago.

For more information about DuPage ACT-SO, visit

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