The Coraopolis ACT-SO program was held at
Robert Morris University
April 9, 2022 10:30am - 2:30pm

What is ACT-SO?


ACT-SO is an acronym for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. Its mission is to recognize, prepare, and reward African-American youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic 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.


ACT-SO includes 32 competitions in STEM, humanities, business, and performing, visual and culinary arts. Almost 350,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.


ACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program for high school students of African descent which culminates in a competition through which youth demonstrate prowess in science, humanities, performing and visual arts, and entrepreneurship.

Who's Eligible to Participate in ACT-SO?


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.

Winners from the local competitions compete at the National Competition and Ceremonies, held every July in conjunction with the NAACP National Convention.

For more information about how to get involved,  please Click Here to contact the ACT-SO Committee

Famous National ACT-SO Alumni

John Singleton
Contestant (1984)
Roy Hargrove
Jazz Musician
Gold Medalist, Classical Music (1985)
Jada Pinkett-Smith
Contestant (1987)
Anthony Anderson
Actor / Comedian
Gold Medalist, Drama (1986)
Michael Beach, Actor
Gold Medalist,
Drama (1982)
Kanye West
Contestant (1993)