Vernon Jarrett, a prominent Chicago journalist, introduced the Afro-Academic Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) in 1977 as an “Olympics of the Mind” that would reward academic achievers in the same way athletic achievers are honored. The NAACP developed ACT-SO into a program designed to promote academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students through local and national competitions. There are twenty-six categories of competition in the humanities, sciences, business, the performing arts and the visual arts. The first national ACT-SO competition was held in Portland, Oregon, in 1978. Through ACT-SO, more than 260,000 contestants have received over $1 million in scholarships, books, and computers.