Corporate Sponsors Help NAACP NYC ACT-SO Produce Leaders of Tomorrow

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The NAACP New York City chapter of the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (NYC ACT-SO) is proud to announce and acknowledge media partner WNBC-4/New York, Washington Mutual, Con Edison, and edGenuiti Worldwide as the lead sponsors of its 18th annual VIP Reception & Awards Ceremony to be held Monday, April 25, at Con Edison, 4 Irving Place in Lower Manhattan.

The NAACP New York City chapter of the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (NYC ACT-SO) is proud to announce and acknowledge media partner WNBC-4/New York, Washington Mutual, Con Edison, and edGenuiti Worldwide as the lead sponsors of its 18th annual VIP Reception & Awards Ceremony to be held Monday, April 25, at Con Edison, 4 Irving Place in Lower Manhattan. The VIP Reception (invitation only) will be from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., and the Awards Ceremony (open to the public with ticket purchase) will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jane Hanson and Otis Livingston of NBC Newschannel 4 will host the ceremony. Former President William Jefferson Clinton, U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and U.S. Senator Barack Obama are Honorary Co-chairs of the event. New York City Deputy Mayor for Policy Dennis M. Walcott, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Emeritus Percy E. Sutton, legendary actor and activist Ruby Dee, acclaimed author and poet Ntozake Shange, and National Cancer Institute Associate Director Dr. Harold P. Freeman, who also is Medical Director of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care, will be the evening's Special Honorees.

"The financial and in-kind support of our sponsors is a critical resource that continues to provide the constant enrichment and nurturing of our youth," said NYC ACT-SO Executive Director Anton Tomlinson.

The Awards Ceremony is the local culmination of NYC ACT-SO's signature event, the Olympics of the Mind competition, in which some 200 enthusiastic Black high school students from throughout New York City converged under one roof to showcase their talents in 25 humanities, performing arts, visual arts, and sciences categories two days prior on Saturday, April 23 at Manhattan's Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

"NAACP NYC ACT-SO promotes and rewards academic achievement and all that goes with it--hard work, perseverance, self-discipline, and confidence," said Anna C. Carbonell, Vice President, Station Relations, WNBC-4/New York. "All high school students, and particularly students of African descent, need programs like NAACP ACT-SO now more than ever. WNBC4/New York is proud to be a media sponsor to this excellent program." WNBC, the "flagship" station of the NBC Television Network, signed on the air as WNBT on July 1, 1941, signaling the beginning of commercial television in the United States. The station, which has been serving audiences in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut - the nation's No. 1 television market - with quality news and entertainment programming, has had many television "firsts," including the first sports telecast, the first commercial, the first newscast, the first to broadcast local news in color, the first to debut one of the most sophisticated news vehicles in the industry: Chopper 4, and the first with a local website, just to name a few. Today, WNBC4 is recognized as one of the most watched and successful stations in the country. From all of the special New York events to community programming addressing the issues and concerns of its viewers, the station's commitment to the tri-state area extends well beyond its top rated newscasts. A market leader on and off the air, WNBC is proud of its heritage and its pedigree.

"NAACP NYC ACT-SO is special because for eighteen years it has offered both an after-school mentorship program and academic competition in 25 categories in the sciences, arts and humanities, free of charge to New York City high school students. Washington Mutual is glad to sponsor such an inspiring, effective and much-needed student program," said Donna Wilson, Washington Mutual President, Northeast Region of Community & External Affairs Development. Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE: WM), a publicly held FORTUNE 500 company, is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and commercial clients. In 2004, Fortune Magazine rated Washington Mutual No. 19 among the "50 Best Companies for Minorities"; Essence Magazine included the company as one of the "Great Places to Work"; and Family Digest Magazine listed it as one of the "Best Companies for African Americans."

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with $10 billion in annual revenues and approximately $23 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through the following subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., a regulated utility providing electric, gas, and steam service in New York City and Westchester County, New York; Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,350 square mile area in southeastern New York state and adjacent sections of northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania; Con Edison Solutions, a retail energy supply and services company; Con Edison Energy, a wholesale energy supply company; and Con Edison Development, a company that owns and operates generating plants and participates in other infrastructure projects.

edGenuiti Worldwide, a global leader in providing a wide range of business-critical student recruitment, admissions management, student retention, alumni relationship and fundraising software available as a hosted ASP solution or as a dedicated server appliance. edGenuiti Worldwide solutions are used at more than 500 schools and organizations - including some of the world's leading higher education destinations - to enable better use and management of student information, resulting in more accurate and informed decisions; by providing intelligent tools that help them achieve a new level of enrollment sophistication and for forging stronger relationships between students and learning providers.

Presented with pageantry and excitement, the daylong April 23 NYC ACT-SO Olympics of the Mind offered students a singular experience and level of recognition that can greatly impact their lives long after high school, as evidenced by these alumni:

  • Mike Phillips, a world-renowned saxophonist who has toured with Stevie Wonder, given a command performance for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, and toured with Prince's 2004 Musicology Tour. Mr. Phillips is signed to Hidden Beach Recordings and will release his sophomore album in May 2005.
  • Kimberly Acham, an accomplished artist who earned her fine arts degree at New York University, became a junior curator for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and is a purchasing agent for a major art dealer.
  • Everton Prospere, M.D., who earned his medical degree from the City College of New York and is a successful, practicing physician in Brooklyn.

At the April 25 Awards Ceremony, the top three winners in each of the 25 categories will receive a gold medal with $500 in cash, silver medal with $300, and bronze medal with $200. The NYC ACT-SO Olympics of the Mind gold medallists will advance (among 1,200 gold medallists from local competitions across the country) to the national NAACP ACT-SO Olympics of the Mind to be held July 7-11 in Milwaukee, where prizes are a gold medal with $2,000; silver with $1,500; and bronze with $1,000. Every national medallist also receives a fully-loaded laptop computer.

The NAACP NYC ACT-SO program is a 501(c) (3) volunteer organization funded by public and private donations. Founded in 1987 by Anton Tomlinson and Benjamin Duster IV, NYC ACT-SO is dedicated to promoting academic and cultural excellence among Black high school students. Its mission is to overcome the vicious cycle of low scholastic expectations and achievement that plagues minority communities throughout the city. More than 98 percent of NYC-ACT-SO students graduate from high school and 85 percent go on to college. Since its inception, NYC ACT-SO has mentored nearly 5,000 students through coaching sessions, the Olympics of the Mind, and other enrichment activities. NYC ACT-SO proudly carries on the legacy started by the late Vernon Jarrett, award-winning journalist, activist and founder of the national NAACP ACT-SO program in 1977. With more than 140 chapters nationwide, ACT-SO is the country's largest program committed to the academic success of Black youth.

For more information about the Olympics of the Mind or Awards Ceremony tickets, the general public can call NYC ACT-SO at 212-666-9348 or visit http://www.actso.org.

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Nichell Taylor Bryant