Toledo Students Shine At Annual ACT-SO Competition at 114th NAACP National Convention in Boston

Lancome Writer Her Future Scholarship Recipients

Special to The Truth

Six talented high school students from the Toledo Branch of the NAACP have made their mark on the national stage at the 46th Annual NAACP National ACT-SO Competition held in Boston, MA. These remarkable young individuals showcased their exceptional skills, earning well-deserved recognition and accolades across various categories.

ACT-SO, Afro-Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics, is a nationally acclaimed talent and academic program where students compete in six major categories: STEM, Humanities, Performing Arts, Visuals Arts, Business, and Culinary. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners receive cash prizes, award packages, scholarships, and more.

Students participated in the Toledo ACT-SO Competition in April and gold medal winners advanced to the National ACT-SO Competition on July 26-29, 2023, in Boston, MA. The Toledo ACT-SO chapter is led by Beatrice Daniels and Theresa M. Gabriel and the Toledo Branch President is Rev. Willie L. Perryman, Jr.

Among the participants was Kaylee Britt, a 2023 graduate from Toledo Early College, who competed in Playwriting and Dramatics: Acting, where she earned a Bronze medal for her exemplary work in Playwriting. Kaylee’s achievements mark a significant milestone when she became a medalist for the Toledo NAACP Branch. Notably, Kaylee’s writing talent also caught the attention of national sponsors, as she was named a finalist and winner of the Write Her Future Scholarship sponsored by Lancome and presented by prominent media and fashion personalities, including Project Runway judge and former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth.

Toledo participants in the National ACT-SO Competition:

  • Deshawn Johnson, Toledo Early College 2023 graduate, Categories – Poetry: Written and Short Story
  • Caitlyn Scott, Toledo School for the Arts 2023 graduate, Category – Dance: Contemporary
  • Ezra Womack, Central Catholic High School Class of 2024, Category – Engineering
  • Lillian Scherer, Toledo School for the Arts Class of 2026, Categories – Painting and Drawing
  • Khali Moore, Sylvania Southview High School, Class of 2026, Categories – Music: Contemporary and Music: Classical

Journalist Vernon Jarrett originally presented his “Olympics of the Mind” concept to the DuSable Museum of African American History in 1977. The NAACP adopted the youth achievement program to showcase the scholastic and artistic talents of overlooked African-American students. Today,

ACT-SO encourages students of every background to strive for greatness – a challenge taken by more more than 300,000 participants since the program’s inception in 1978.

For more information about the Toledo ACT-SO chapter and its initiatives, please contact: and visual assets from the competition can be found here.