The NAACP believes strongly that we must invest in our future leaders, and such investment is ongoing in the Youth & College Division, created in 1936. Today there are more than 30,000 young people representing 600 Youth Councils, High School Chapters and College Chapters actively involved in the fight for civil rights. The NAACP has one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country.
The Boston Branch is proud to support our youth in their academic and professional pursuits through the ACT-SO program.
We believe one of the greatest challenges facing the Black community is economic inequality. This is supported by the data as reported in our 2017 Report Card and many other reports. We believe addressing the racial wealth gap and economic inequality will require a multi-pronged strategy. One of those strategies is business ownership.
In 2019 the NAACP Boston Branch launched its innovative summer entrepreneurship bootcamp for high school and college students. The program was created in response to an opportunity to participate in the Summer Nights program funded by Governor Charlie Baker's administration. After presenting the proposal to the Summer Program and receiving the "greenlight" to run the pilot program, the NAACP Boston Branch worked with Street2Ivy to operate the program. We were also pleased to welcome several scholars from the BAM Boston.
Our inaugural program had twenty students participating and we had several organizations support the program: Ardent, Bank of America, Boston Ship Yard, DLA Piper, IAC Partners, Indigo Partners, Institute for Human Centered Learning, MassChallenge, Medtronic, WeWork, and XCLSV Media.
All students in our 2019 program received a stipend, laptop and access to a first rate training program. We know that many of our youth are trying to secure jobs for the summer so this program will run in the evening allowing them to work during the day and have another constructive program to participate in during the evenings. No GPA requirement...just a desire to learn, be productive, and support our community.
Even as the COVI-19 pandemic shuttered many programs in 2020, the branch continued to work in partnership with Street to Ivy to deliver a virtual entrepreneurship bootcamp for students.
Today, the program continues through Street to Ivy, and young people have the opportunity to learn how to start their own businesses and also enter the commercial real estate industry.
BOSTON BRANCH ACT-SO
The premier NAACP youth program is the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO). ACT-SO is a year long program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American highschool students. Students have the opportunity to compete across 32 disciplines including STEM, humanities, entreprenuership, architecture, and performing, visual and culinary arts. In 2019 the Boston Branch had three students compete in the national competition. All of the students were from the Community Academy of Science and Health. They competed in Original Essay, Drawing and Entrepreneurship. Our 2019 Entrepreneurship participant placed third in the national competition.
Our 2020 program included 15 students from across the City of Boston. Today, our program has 14 national competitors and 21 active students. Our ACT-SO team looks forward to participating in the 114th National Convention and serving as the host team for the national ACT-SO competition.
Please contact ACT-SO chair Fatima Ali-Salaam if you are interested in supporting our 2023 program.
BOSTON BRANCH SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS
Contact Scholarship Chair Renee Harper for additional information on any of our scholarships and awards.
The Boston Branch is the beneficiary of a generous donation from an anonymous donor. As part of her estate, this donor left an endowed scholarship to the Boston Branch for Boston area students who are pursuing degrees in a business discipline. The Boston Branch awards two $5,000 scholarships annually to deserving students. Click here for the 2022 Lucille P. Butler Scholarship.
Youth Essay Contest
The Boston Branch is pleased to announce its 2nd annual Juneteenth Essay Contest. What does Juneteenth mean to you in 2020? What are you doing to help effectuate change in your community? The winner(s) will receive a laptop from the Boston Branch. Click here for the 2022 Juneteenth Essay Contest Application.
The following is the structure of the NAACP’s Youth and College Division:
BOSTON BRANCH YOUTH COUNCIL
The Boston Branch’s Youth Council is recruiting youth interested in learning more about civil rights and advocating for racial justice. If you are interested in joining the Youth Council please send an email to email@example.com.
JUNIOR YOUTH COUNCILSMembership : Any person under the age of 13 Focus: Providing interactive and entertaining instruction on the history of Africans in the Diaspora (specifically the NAACP and the Civil Rights Movement) . Basic leadership development and community service are also key focus areas.
HIGH SCHOOL CHAPTERSMembership: Any person who is enrolled as a student in a high school or comparable secondary school Focus: Training and developing the skills necessary for leadership and activism. Mobilization, community education, and youth activities are essential focus areas of the Youth Council. If you are interested in chartering a high school chapter, please email the Boston Branch.
COLLEGE CHAPTERSMembership: Any person under the age of 25 and/or currently enrolled as a student at a college or university Focus: Training and fine-tuning intellectual and leadership skills manifest in an increased level of social and political activism. College Chapter are separate from the local branch. Please contact Juan Cofield, President of the New England Are Conference if you are interested in a college chapter.
ACT-SOACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. The program relies on the dedication and commitment of community and business leaders who volunteer as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence. Through this collaborative effort, participating students develop the confidence and skills needed to excel in school and in life. Annually, participants compete in 32 categories, including in the sciences, humanities, business, and performing and visual arts. Some students are selected to compete at the annual National NAACP Conference.