The Road to National

When you’re reaching for the stars, it helps to stand on solid ground first. That’s why we have specific eligibility criteria for competing in the National ACT-SO competition. But the truth is, there are three key things you need above all others. You need to show up. You need to try. You need to accept constructive guidance. When you start with those three basic components, you’re already on your way, and that’s true well beyond your time in ACT-SO.

How to Get into the National Competition

This list might look like a lot, but if you take it one step at a time, stay focused and determined, and take all the help you’re offered, it will feel more like fun than effort. Here are the steps on the road to national:

  1. Qualify in each of these three important areas:
    • Must be in high school grades 9th-12th (All high schools are eligible to participate regardless of your county)
    • Be an individual who has demonstrated a genuine interest in 1-3 of the 33 competition categories
    • Be of amateur status, having never performed as a professional in any category of the competition
  2. Submit an application (written or online) to the Cincinnati NAACP ACT-SO chapter
  3. Engage fully in the program
    • Meet with your assigned Mentor a minimum of 5 times or the equivalent in private lessons
    • Attend at least 2 workshops based on availability (Note: Coaching and workshops are primarily virtual)
    • Accept constructive criticism
  4. Conform to the guideline requirements as dictated by the category or categories chosen
  5. Compete and receive a gold medal in the local competition. Students who will advance to the National ACT-SO Competition must submit to the local NAACP chapter:
    • A national application
    • A one to two typed pages [double-spaced] biography
    • A completed parental consent form
    • A medical release form signed by a parent
    • A small, clear photo

ACT-SO Timeline

October – January

Students and Parents – December

January – July

Workshops & Enrichment:

Local Competition:

National Competition:
July (TBD)