Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics

The ACT-SO program is an enrichment program. From visual arts and business to performing and culinary arts, participants work with mentors to develop their talents to compete in the national Olympics of the Mind.

NAACP DeKalb ACT-SO Will Send 9 to National Competition.

The 2022 ACT-SO medalists are:

Xavier Doyle
Josiah O’Connor
Dana Boyer
Salmoncain Smith-Shomade


Dayna Boyer – Painting
Zayla Bryant – Oratory
Xavier Doyle – Dramatics
Fawzi James Jr. – Music Instrumental Contemporary
Josiah O’Connor –Music Instrumental Classical
Kyron Robertson – Photography
Salmoncain Smith-Shomade – Poetry Written
Ana Villavasso – Filmmaking
Sultan Ziyad – Architecture

Zayla Bryant
Sultan Ziyad
Ana Villavasso
Fawzi James Jr
Kyron Robertson

Decatur, GA. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) DeKalb County Branch is proud to announce its 27 medalists for the local Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition. The judges for the competition awarded 9 Gold medals, 7 Silver medals, and 11 Bronze medals. The gold medalists move on to compete at the National ACT-SO competition which will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, July 14-17, 2022. The local competition was hosted virtually April 30th and May 1st and consisted of over 40 students from DeKalb and other counties. ACT-SO is yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic achievement among black high school students. The NAACP DeKalb ACT-SO Committee develops mechanisms to encourage and inspire youth toward excellence in academics, cultural pursuits, and opportunities through community support in this annual high school competition.

President Lance Hammonds comments: “I am so proud of our youth. They really worked hard and were committed to this program, their mentors, and to their individual successes which is evident by these medals.” ACT-SO Chair, Dr. Freda Hammonds, attributes the success of the program to the very dedicated and meticulous Co-Chair Dr. Beretta Smith-Shomade, affectionately known as Dr. Bess and all the talented mentors who give so freely of their time, expertise, and guidance. Most importantly, “Our students are also committed, driven, and talented. They are the reason ACT-SO is so effective,” says Dr. Hammonds.

To support ACT-SO students, you can donate to this program on the website

For more information on the 2022-2023 competition, please contact the ACT-SO Chair, Dr. Freda Hammonds at (404) 241-8006 or

In 2021 the DeKalb ACT-SO branch had  5 of our Youth to win medals at the National NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition. 

Last year the national competition was hosted virtually July 7 -11 and consisted of over 500 ACT-SO students from NAACP branches across the country. ACT-SO Chair, Mrs. Freda Hammonds, attributes the success of the program to the commitment of our talented students and the volunteer mentors who provided the
guidance to our students.


Other Winners


Nyla Baxter – Oratory

Clark Haydel –Photography

Clark Haydel— Poetry Written

Brandon Leonard – Music Instrumental Classical

NaZyia Macon – Painting

Layla Alexis White –Dramatics

Layla Alexis White – Modern Dance


Zayla Bryant – Poetry Written

Zayla Bryant – Poetry Performance

Alexis Chappell – Dramatics

Aaron Danner – Short Story

Audrey Ferguson-Brown – Poetry Performance

Asha Foley – Drawing

Jackson Jeffrey – Music Instrumental Classical

NaZyia Macon – Poetry Performance

Destiny Porter – Contemporary Dance

Salmoncain Smith-Shomade – Photography

Ana Villavasso – Painting