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

StudentCategoryMedalSchool Name
Angel BenjaminPoetry WrittenGold MedalPaint Branch HS
Kyle DalrymplePhotographyGold MedalRichard Montgomery HS
Kyle DalrymplePhysicsGold MedalRichard Montgomery HS
Daniella GonyoePoetry PerformanceGold MedalNorthwest HS
Ziya JacksonVocal ContemporaryGold MedalJames Hubert Blake HS
Asha JenkinsPaintingGold MedalHomeschool
Aaliyahmarie KeyDance: BalletGold MedalCalvert Academy
Aaliyahmarie KeyDance: ContemporaryGold MedalCalvert Academy
Agyeman NyantehDrawingGold MedalNorthwest HS
Gisele SonnierDance: ModernGold MedalStone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Arnold Umanna Jr.Instrumental ClassicGold MedalWinston Churchill HS
Haley WilliamsArchitectureGold MedalClarksburg HS & Thomas Edison HS

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

Maimouna BarryDrawingSilver MedalNorthwest HS
Logan ByrdDance: BalletSilver MedalNorthwood HS
Logan ByrdDance: ContemporarySilver MedalNorthwood HS
Kyle DalrympleOriginal EssaySilver MedalRichard Montgomery HS
Maysa DiengPoetry WrittenSilver MedalClarksburg HS
Kelvin DukesVocal ContemporarySilver MedalJames Hubert Blake HS
Gabseh ForsehArchitectureSilver MedalSpringbrook/Thomas Edison HS
Mayeni KpengeFilmmakingSilver MedalNorthwest HS
Natalie PayneShort StorySilver MedalSpringbrook HS
Jaylyn ThomasPaintingSilver MedalOur Lady of Good Counsel
Angel BenjaminPhotographyBronze MedalRichard Montgomery HS
Imani CorbinFilmmakingBronze MedalNorthwood HS
Nathaniel SpruillPoetry WrittenBronze MedalPoolesville HS
Anaya McEachern-MedleyDance: ContemporaryBronze MedalAlbert Einstein HS
Rosine NkakwaDrawingBronze MedalSpringbrook HS
Consuela WattsVocal ContemporaryBronze MedalNorthwood 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 in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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