Tech giant, Google, commenced Black History Month with the airing of a commercial ad during this year’s Grammy Awards show, which has sparked conversation across social media outlets.
Along with the debut of the ad, Google announced a $3 million Google.org grant to fund the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program which centers around providing Black youth an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of mentors and judges for a chance to secure scholarship funding for their project.
“NAACP ACT-SO is a program that prepares, recognizes and rewards students’ scholastic and artistic excellence. Google.org is proud to support @NAACP as they extend ACT-SO to even more future history makers,“ Google tweeted.
NAACP ACT-SO is a program that prepares, recognizes and rewards students’ scholastic and artistic excellence. https://t.co/D84d9e0zeF is proud to support @NAACP as they extend ACT-SO to even more future history makers. Learn more → https://t.co/Y73noeDe7B pic.twitter.com/QsaxbL0Szj
— Google (@Google) January 26, 2020
National ACT-SO Director Larry Brown, Jr. explained to Google that students work throughout the year to develop a compelling project in one of 32 categories. After qualifying at their local ACT-SO contest, winners present their ideas at our national ACT-SO competition and compete for top scholarship prizes.
The ACT-SO entrepreneurship competition allows students to submit one business plan and a five-minute oral pitch to judges who will critique them in the areas of market strategy, product knowledge, and financial planning.
The ACT-SO program reports a seven percent increase of STEM participants in the year 2019 and plans to incorporate more tech and coding opportunities for its students in the years to come.