candice-dawson_web.jpgAshlee-Ann Ramsey, a rising senior at Coral Reef High School in South Miami-Dade, won the Gold medal in Dance at the NAACP’s 33rd annual Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) held recently in Los Angeles.

Two other Miami-Dade students won medals during the five-day national competition featuring high school students around the country in 26 categories ranging from the performing arts and music to mathematics, biology and business.

Candice Dawson, another rising senior at Coral Reef High, won the Bronze medal in the Vocal/Classical component of the Music contest.

 James Jackson, a rising senior at Miami Jackson Senior High School in Miami’s Allapattah community, won the Bronze medal in Architecture.

More than 1,200 gold medalists, chairpersons, youth observers and supporters gathered in Los Angeles July 20-24 for the competition.

Actress Rocsi hosted the July 24 awards ceremony in which Venus Williams, Julia Pace and Bobby Soto were among the performers.

“The 33rd National ACT-SO Competition showcased our country’s best and brightest. Thousands of adults, community and corporate volunteers lent their efforts to this annual mammoth undertaking,” said Anana Kambon, ACT-SO national executive director. “These young competitors are the architects and

innovators who will influence our changing world. The NAACP is honored to provide a platform for their exhibition of excellence.”

NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous added that ACT-SO has a record of producing leaders in the arts, sciences and business world.

“The program is an excellent opportunity for young African Americans from all walks of life to come together, exchange ideas and flourish,” he said.

The ACT-SO program centers on the dedication and commitment of comunity volunteers and business leaders who serve as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence among African-American students. Author and journalist Vernon Jarrett created the program in 1978.

Photo: Candice Dawson