For the first time since entering the National ACT-SO competition more than a decade ago, the Cincinnati youth group of the local NAACP chapter has won a gold medal.
Jordan Stroud, a Walnut Hills senior, earned the medal at the NAACP's national convention in Philadelphia July 9-10. He competed in the instrumental/classical-music category
"I have dreamed about winning in the competition since I was 8 years old,'' said Jordan, who serves as co-chairman of the local ACT-SO committee.
ACT-SO stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. It was started 27 years ago by the late Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Vernon Jarrett to promote minority involvement in academics rather than athletics.
Jordan Stroud, 17, of Roselawn is the first Cincinnati gold-medal winner in the NAACP's Academic, Technological and Scientific Olympics. Jordan won in the instrumental/classical-music category at the annual convention in Philadelphia last weekend.
The Enquirer/SARAH CONARD
Jordan said he gave a piano rendition of Un Sospiro by Franz Liszt. "This was my third time to be in the ACT-SO competition, but I had been there since age 8, watching my sister compete,'' Jordan said.
Jordan is the son of Irving and Mary Stroud of Roselawn.
"I was surprised because I didn't think we could win nationally,'' said Mary Stroud. "In the national competition, there are so many talented students from all over the country.''
In this year's ACT-SO event, 740 students participated.
Others competing from Cincinnati were Jennifer Steward, Walnut Hills, poetry; Matthew Smith, Purcell, chemistry; John Campbell, Purcell, biology; Lois Harris, Sycamore, painting; and Jeremy Williams, vocal classical.
Kenzel Gilliam, a Walnut Hills graduate, has received a $2,000 scholarship from the Pi Sigma Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Kenzel, 17, plans to enter Duke University this fall.
"I plan to major in economics and get a minor in African-American studies,'' Kenzel said.
She graduated this year from Walnut Hills with a 3.5 grade-point average.
Kenzel was a member of the Gospel Choir and was president of the sophomore class. She was a mentor to incoming students and played first violin in the school orchestra.
She was presented a certificate of achievement and honored during a reception at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati.
Presentations were made by Debra Brundidge, scholarship chairwoman, and Adonica Jones Parks, chapter president.
Kenzel is the daughter of Karen Gilliam of Roselawn
Family of the Year
Applications are being accepted for the Black Family Reunion Celebration Family of the Year.
The 16th annual Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion Celebration is Aug. 20-22 at Sawyer Point.
Cassandra Robinson, event producer, said the family selected will represent excellence in the areas of community service, volunteerism and promoting the family.
Information can be faxed to the Black Family Reunion office, 742-3593.
Clothes for Kids underway
A clothing drive called Clothes for Kids kicked off Friday at Eastgate Mall. The effort collects items for needy kids to help prepare them for going back to school.
The campaign, which lasts through July 31, is run by Eastgate Mall, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Ohio and Northern Kentucky and the Salvation Army.
Representatives from the Salvation Army will be at Center Court at Eastgate Mall on Eastgate Boulevard at Ohio 32 and Interstate 275.
Customers may select mock paper hangers, which are similar to angel tree ornaments during the holiday season, that list a needed item or group of items for needy children. Customers may then buy items on the list and return them to the Center Court.
Shoppers will receive coupons from mall merchants to make initial purchases for a child in need. They will also receive coupons for personal purchases from stores in the mall that are participating in the clothing campaign.
Coca-Cola will offer a free Coca-Cola C2 soft drink to every customer donating clothes to the drive.
For more information, call Eastgate Mall at (513) 752-2290.
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