This weekend, the Scotland County NAACP Youth Council will recognize the achievements of its youth while also commending the adults that have helped them to be successful.
On Saturday, the Youth Council will hold its Academic, Cultual, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition at St. Andrews University.
“ACT-SO is a competition where young people in high school have the oppotunity to comepte in the areas of math and science, visual arts, and performing arts,” said Rena McNeil, Youth Council co-chair. “Tn each you have about four or five different categories that the young people compete in.”
Each category’s winners will compete in Texas in July. Winners at the national level will be awarded with college scholarships.
Most of Saturday’s competitors will be local students, but as there are only four ACT-SO competitions in North Carolina, students from other counties will also compete.
“Scotland County is the strongest ACT-SO program in NC, based on the fact that we have had the most gold medallists at the national level,” McNeil said.
The ACT-SO competition will be held at 1 p.m. in St. Andrews’ Avinger Auditorium.
In recognition of adults who have given back to the Youth Council, the group will hold their 29th annual Image Awards banquet on Sunday.
The evening’s guest speaker will be Henry Pankey, formerly a principal at Scotland High School. Pankey, who now works as an assistant principal at Parkland High School in Winston-Salem, was named 2012 Assistant Principal of the Year by the N.C. Association of Educators.
The council will also recognize 25 community members who have been voted upon as outstanding examples for Scotland County’s youth.
“We’re trying to find that intergenerational situation where we’re always holding hands,” said McNeil. “We want our young people to say that they’re thankful and that one day they too will be able to give back to their communities and become productive citizens.”
Rodney Byers, principal of North Laurinburg Elementary School, will be awarded the Youth Coucil’s Principal of the Year, while Delores Alston will be named the Community Volunteer of the Year.
The banquet, which will include a full dinner, will be held at 5 p.m. at Galilee United Methodist Church on McGirt’s Bridge Road. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for youth.