D Kevin McNeirEducationLocal

Maryland High School Youth Advance to NAACP ACT-SO Finals

Despite facing unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Montgomery County Maryland Branch of the NAACP refused to cancel this year’s ACT-SO competition for high school youth.

After months of planning and frequent adjustments, County co-chairs, Pat Price and Laura Dennis, along with NAACP Montgomery County Maryland Branch Linda Plummer and a host of volunteers, provided the opportunity for students to compete in the annual event. The areas in which students competed ranged from photography and written poetry to physics and architecture.

On Sunday, May 2, during the virtual awards ceremony for the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics [ACT-SO] Competition 2021, students received 12 gold medals, qualifying them to move on to compete in the national finals scheduled later this year.

ACT-SO serves as a high school initiative sponsored by the NAACP to promote and encourage academic and artistic excellence. Gold medalists will represent the NAACP Montgomery County Maryland Branch at the Virtual National ACT-SO Competition this summer from July 7 – 11

The NAACP Montgomery County Maryland Branch offered its congratulations to the many students who competed in the ACT-SO competition for remaining undaunted in their commitment to academic and artistic excellence.

NAACP ACT-SO Medalists 2021

Student Category Medal School Name
Angel Benjamin Poetry Written Gold Medal Paint Branch HS
Kyle Dalrymple Photography Gold Medal Richard Montgomery HS
Kyle Dalrymple Physics Gold Medal Richard Montgomery HS
Daniella Gonyoe Poetry Performance Gold Medal Northwest HS
Ziya Jackson Vocal Contemporary Gold Medal James Hubert Blake HS
Asha Jenkins Painting Gold Medal Homeschool
Aaliyahmarie Key Dance: Ballet Gold Medal Calvert Academy
Aaliyahmarie Key Dance: Contemporary Gold Medal Calvert Academy
Agyeman Nyanteh Drawing Gold Medal Northwest HS
Gisele Sonnier Dance: Modern Gold Medal Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Arnold Umanna Jr. Instrumental Classic Gold Medal Winston Churchill HS
Haley Williams Architecture Gold Medal Clarksburg HS & Thomas Edison HS

Nine silver medals and 6 bronze medals were earned by the ACT-SO 2021 participants:

Maimouna Barry Drawing Silver Medal Northwest HS
Logan Byrd Dance: Ballet Silver Medal Northwood HS
Logan Byrd Dance: Contemporary Silver Medal Northwood HS
Kyle Dalrymple Original Essay Silver Medal Richard Montgomery HS
Maysa Dieng Poetry Written Silver Medal Clarksburg HS
Kelvin Dukes Vocal Contemporary Silver Medal James Hubert Blake HS
Gabseh Forseh Architecture Silver Medal Springbrook/Thomas Edison HS
Mayeni Kpenge Filmmaking Silver Medal Northwest HS
Natalie Payne Short Story Silver Medal Springbrook HS
Jaylyn Thomas Painting Silver Medal Our Lady of Good Counsel
Angel Benjamin Photography Bronze Medal Richard Montgomery HS
Imani Corbin Filmmaking Bronze Medal Northwood HS
Nathaniel Spruill Poetry Written Bronze Medal Poolesville HS
Anaya McEachern-Medley Dance: Contemporary Bronze Medal Albert Einstein HS
Rosine Nkakwa Drawing Bronze Medal Springbrook HS
Consuela Watts Vocal Contemporary Bronze Medal Northwood HS

D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents, the native Detroiter engineered a transformation of The Miami Times resulting in its being named the NNPA’s “Publication of the Year” in 2011 – just one of several dozen industry-related awards he’s earned in his career. He currently serves as senior editor for The Washington Informer. There, in the heart of the U.S. Capitol, he displays a keen insight for developing front-page news as it unfolds within the greater Washington area, capturing the crucial facts and facets of today’s intriguing, political arena. He has degrees from The University of Michigan, Emory University and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2020, he received First Place for Weekly Newspaper, Commentary & Criticism, Society of Professional Journalists, Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter. Learn more about him at www.dkevinmcneir.com, Facebook – Kevin McNeir, Twitter - @mcneirdk, Linkedin – D. Kevin McNeir or email: mcneirdk@washingtoninformer.com.

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