BLOOMINGTON â Several Twin City high school students have returned home with gold medals from the National NAACP ACT-SO Awards Competition in Baltimore, Md.
With help from adult mentors, the students completed projects through the Bloomington-Normal Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics.
ACT-SO is a national academic enrichment program for African-American high school students.
âOur goal is to provide and assist students with necessary skills to establish goals and make successful contributions to society,â said BN ACT-SO chairperson Carol de la Cruz. âWe want our youth to know who they are and (that) what they have to offer their community and society matters.â
Five Bloomington-Normal students advanced in the state competition and attended the national competition. They were: Jessica Bynum, a junior at Normal Community High School; Alexis Starks, a senior at NCHS; Tiera Shickel, senior at Bloomington High School; Jordyn Blythe, a senior at University High School; and Boston Cooper III, a U High junior.
Bynum earned gold in filmmaking; Starks earned gold in photography; Blythe brought home a gold in oratory speaking; Shickel received bronze in poetry and Cooper competed in entrepreneurship.
Bynum wrote, directed, produced and starred in a film project about traveling back in time to fix mistakes but learning how mistakes can shape the future.
âBesides the gold medal looking good on my college resume, the experience has allowed me to explore my passions of making films. ACT-SO has given me an opportunity to exceed in something and meet other people,â said Bynum.
Blythe presented a speech titled, âBlack Privilege.â The purpose was to âspeak to a broader audience so they understand black privilege does not exist.â
âACT-SO taught me to broaden my…