• Welcome To

    ACT-SO Columbia

    ACT-SO Columbia is a yearlong mentoring and achievement program for high school students where they demonstrate academic, artistic, and scientific expertise for a chance to compete nationally and win scholarships & prizes.

    read more apply online
  • You can compete in up to 31 categories

    Which Category is For You?

    Watch this video to see which categories you may be interested in competing in. You can choose up to three (3).

    Apply Online
  • Don't Miss Out On ACT-SO Columbia Updates

    Join Our Email List

    click here to subscribe
  • Have a gift for working with students?

    Sign Up to Become a Mentor

    Sign up to Mentor
  • Now Accepting Applications

    RSVP for Open House

    Take 60 seconds to watch the video on the left. Then click the button below to RSVP and save your seat at our ACT-SO Columbia Open House on Thursday, November 1st.

    We want to tell you all about our FREE Olympic mentoring program for teens. So RSVP to save your seat today.

    RSVP for Open House Apply Online

What is ACT-SO

The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological & Scientific Olympics

ACT-SO, sponsored by the NAACP, is a yearlong enrichment & achievement program for high school students designed to stimulate and encourage high academic & cultural achievement among African-American high school students. ACT-SO culminates in a local and national competition where students compete for awards, and prizes totaling over $100,000.

ACT-SO, often referred to as the “Olympics of the Mind”, seeks to promote:

  • Positive self-esteem
  • Positive interaction between students & mentors
  • Positive academic and artistic excellence
  • High academic and cultural achievement


Meet The Team

Meet the NAACP ACT-SO Columbia core volunteer team responsible for running the program throughout the year.

More About Our Team
Shaun Adams

Shaun Adams


Taren Bernard

Taren Bernard


Tia Adams

Tia Adams

Core Team Volunteer

Trinita Webster

Trinita Webster

Core Team Volunteer

What Are Students Saying about ACT-SO

Pearis Bellamy

Pearis Bellamy

National Bronze Medalist / Entrepreneurship

"I joined ACT-SO my freshman year and it was probably one of the best decisions I've made. I've met great mentors, leaders, teachers and friends that have truly helped me become a better person. I've done things I never thought I would do and all thanks to the great people I've met in this program."

Justin Brown

Justin Brown

Gold Medalist / Music Instrumental Classical

“ACT-SO showed me who I am personally and where my passion is: music. I had the experience to go to nationals two years in a row in Houston, Texas and Orlando, Florida. It was the best experience of my life.”

LaToya Dove

LaToya Dove

Silver Medalist / Dance

“ACT-SO helped me to become more self confident and better public speaker. It also taught me leadership skills which always is a positive.”

Aaron Savage

Aaron Savage

National Bronze Medalist / Original Essay

“ACT-SO helped me become a better public speaker, communicator and more outgoing person. All of these are extremely helpful as a communication major.”

Janelle Wellons

National Gold Medalist / Mathematics

“ACT-SO put a smile on my face every week. My mentors could turn any story into a life lesson. The awards ceremonies were always, entertaining!!!(in a good way)”

Receive Occasional Updates From ACT-SO Columbia

Join Our Email List

Click Here To Add Your Email

Famous ACT-SO Alumni

In its 30 year history an estimated 300,000 students have participated in ACT-SO. Over that time more than $354,000 in national competition prizes, bonds, monetary awards, laptop computers and scholarships have been awarded. Famed ACT-SO alumni include Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kanye West, Anthony Anderson, Alicia Keys – just to name a few.

Jada Pinkett Smith


Kanye West


Anthony Anderson

Actor / Comedian

Alicia Keys


Volunteer Registration is now open for the 2018-2019 Season

Interested In Becoming a Mentor Or Judge?

Click Here to Join Our Team

Our Community Partners

Because it takes a village to raise a child...


Featured Video

What's it Like to Compete at the National ACT-SO Olympics?