DuPage County ACT-SO

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DuPage County ACT-SO has the mission of nurturing excellence and providing positive reinforcement to African American high school students.

DuPage County ACT-SO partners with the local community to raise cultural awareness, academic achievements, showcase talents, and entrepreneurial skills, as well as develop leaders and provide life enrichment opportunities without regard to educational or economic status.

The vision of the DuPage County, Illinois ACT-SO is threefold: To be the program of choice for African American students, to send a participant yearly to compete in all categories at the national level, and lastly to have sufficient resources (human, capital, and physical) to meet program goals.

Throughout the academic year, program students attend monthly enrichment sessions with workshops, speakers, and activities that help develop their presentation, public speaking, career, college readiness, and life skills. In addition, each participant works with a community-based volunteer mentor to develop their category project or performance for competition. in local and national events where students compete for scholarships and other rewards.

All of the students’ work culminates on the third Saturday in March, at their local competition where students present their work before a panel of expert judges. Students who win a gold medal at the local competition go on to compete against other gold medalists from around the country at the National ACT-SO competition which is held in July.

Student Interest Areas

Students can compete in up to three competition areas. Here is the full list of DuPage County ACT-SO categories:


  • Entrepreneurship


  • Music Composition
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry
  • Short Story

Performing Arts

  • Dance (Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, &Traditional)
  • Dramatics
  • Music: Instrumental (Classical & Contemporary)
  • Music: Vocal (Classical & Contemporary)
  • Oratory

STEM (Sciences)

  • Architecture
  • Biology/Microbiology
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine and Health
  • Physics

Visual Arts

  • Drawing
  • Filmmaking
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture

Visit DuPage County ACT-SO for more information on registration and participating as a student or volunteer.

Spotlight Guests

Dorletta Flucas Payton,Chairperson

Thomas Reed, Co-Chairperson and Director of Enrichment

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