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Students win gold at 2018 NAACP ACT-SO Columbia competition

Ten Richland Two students won gold medals during the recent 2018 NAACP ACT-SO Columbia competition. They were among the more than 40 students who showcased their skills in 32 different categories including performing arts, visual arts, sciences, entrepreneurship and humanities. See photos from the award ceremony on Flickr. The students and their categories are: 
  • Jada Adams  (Ridge View High School)  –  Poetry Performance
  • Cameron Borum  (Ridge View High School)  –  Music Instrumental Contemporary & Drawing
  • Zharia Casteal  (Spring Valley High School)  –  Poetry Written
  • Miracle Chatman  (Richland Northeast High School)  –  Photography
  • Jaye Gibson  (Richland Two Charter High School)  –  Music Vocal Contemporary
  • Kiara Hayes  (Ridge View High School)  –  Music Composition
  • Byron Lattimore  (Ridge View High School)  –  Music Vocal Classical
  • Makayla Long  (Spring Valley High School)  –  Short Story
  • Antoinette Robinson  (Westwood High School)  –  Original Essay
  • Kiera Thomas  (Ridge View High School)  –  Filmmaking
Columbia ACT-SO also recognized Ridge View High School teacher Jeffrey McMicken with the Vernon Jarrett Community Award of Excellence. This annual award is named for Vernon Jarrett who founded the NAACP ACT-SO program. It's given to someone who embodies the spirit of ACT-SO, and is a true champion of children everywhere. McMicken was recognized as someone who goes above and beyond the norm.

As gold medalists, students will advance to the National NAACP ACT-SO Olympics where they will represent their high schools, the school district, the city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina this July 11-16 in San Antonio, Texas. There, they will compete (in their respective categories) against students from across the country for an opportunity to win up to $5,000 in scholarships and prizes. 

Shaun Adams, executive director of the ACT-SO Columbia program, is very proud of all of the students. Adams and the students are actively working to raise money to take all of the students to the national ACT-SO competition. 

ACT-SO, a program by the NAACP, stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. It is a student enrichment mentoring program that culminates in a local and national competition where students compete for awards, scholarships and prizes. The competition has given Columbia students an outlet to showcase their talents since 1993.