The 2015 Academic Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics (ACT SO) were held Saturday, May 2. ACT SO is a youth enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high school students to pursue interests outside of the normal school curriculum sponsored by the NCAAP.
Students are paired with mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence, while preparing for the competition. The competition hosted 8 competitors from high schools in the Beaufort County area. The schools represented in the 2015 competition were Beaufort High School, Whale Branch Early College, Bluffton High School and Wade Hampton High School. The students competed in the categories of The Sciences, Visual Arts, Entrepreneurship, Humanities and Performing Arts.
The following students won in their categories: Gold Award Winners: Jarany Palacio (Performing Arts: Dance), Briona Millidge (The Sciences: Math Project), Margaret Lavigne (Humanities: Poetry); Silver Award Winners: William Garvin (Humanities: Poetry), Jordan Johnson (Visual Arts: Art Project), Margaret Lavigne (Performing Arts: Oration); Bronze Award Winners: G. Ashley McCord (Entrepreneurship: Business Plan), Tavian Smalls (Performing: Contemporary Vocal), Alexis Jarrell (Humanities: Poetry).
The Gold award winners, Jarany Palacio, Briona Millidge and Margaret Lavigne will travel to Philadelphia in July to compete at the national level for scholarships, awards, internships and publishing opportunities.
The competition was coordinated by Tonya Johnson Phillips and Regina Jefferson, who took on this task as an opportunity to give back to their community and afford high school students a venue to showcase their talents with the potential to win scholarships and awards. Recruitment for the 2016 ACT SO Program will start in September 2015.