ACT-SO History

1976: Vernon Jarrett presented his concept for ACT-SO an “Olympics of the Mind” to the DuSable Museum of African American History.

1977: The NAACP Board of Directors adopted a resolution to accept ACT-SO as an official sponsored NAACP youth achievement program that would be sponsored by local NAACP units, conduct an annual local competition and bring a contingency of gold medalists to the annual National ACT-SO Competition. 

1978: The first National ACT-SO competition was held in Portland, Oregon with seven cities participating: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New Orleans and St. Louis.

2004: Mr. Vernon Jarrett lost his battle with cancer at the age of 82.

PRESENT: ACT-SO sustains approximately 200 programs nationally. Over the past thirty years, over 300,000  have participated in the program

2015 and Beyond: NAACP ACT-SO continues to promote growth, excellence and innovation to position ACT-SO competitors as “Leaders For Tomorrow and Beyond."