National ACT-SO 2021 winner announced

Uyen Tran

The Roanoke Branch NAACP is proud to announce Uyen Tran as a NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics) National Gold Medal winner from Roanoke. We congratulate Uyen for winning her second National Gold Medal in the category of Biology/Microbiology. In 2020 she won her first National Gold Medal in the category of Chemistry/Biochemistry. Uyen was also the 2021 Valedictorian for William Fleming High School and the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Math and Science.

In addition, we are also proud of our local gold medal winners; London Paige (STEM-Medicine and Health), and Janiah Merchant (Short Story) for their participation in the 43nd National NAACP ACT-SO Virtual Competition. Over 450 Olympians from across the country competed in the 34 categories from July 7-July 9, 2021 and everyone was outstanding.

The 2021 Virtual National Awards Program with the theme “Ignite,” was held Sunday, July 11, and featured videos of branches with a message of how they will Ignite future ACT-SO involvement. Roanoke Branch president Benda Hale and Gloria Randolph-King. ACT-SO chair were showcased with Roanoke’s Ignite video. London Paige was showcased giving her Senior “Shout-Out” on the program. The Virginia State NAACP Conference had great representation with six medalists.

The local Branch hopes that members of the Roanoke community, and especially our youth, were able to watch the various competitions on the website that provided an opportunity to see the caliber of competitors, their performances, and presentations. It also allows our youth to see that they can do the same thing.

The committee members will begin ACT-SO recruitment in September 2021, looking for youth who are willing to showcase their respective skills/talents and participate in the 2021 competition. The categories are: STEM- Architecture, Biology/Microbiology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Computer Science, Earth& Space Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine & Health, Physics; HUMANITIES- Music Composition, Original Essay, Playwriting, Poetry-Written, Short Story; PERFORMING ARTS- Dance: Ballet, Dance: Contemporary, Dance: Modern, Dance: Traditional, Dramatics, Music Instrumental/Classical, Music Instrumental/Contemporary, Music Vocal/Classical, Music -Vocal/Contemporary, Oratory, Poetry Performance; VISUAL ARTS-Drawing, Filmmaking, Painting, Photography, Sculpture; BUSINESS-Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Management; and CULINARY- Culinary Arts.

Special thanks are extended to Roanoke Co-Chair, Sheila Herron, and faithful members – Don Wages (STEM Coordinator), Dawn Bryant, Patrick Curtis, Marylen Harmon, Anita Wilson, Lorena Wilson and Branch President Brenda Hale for their continuous support and belief in our young people. They are all Winners!