One Talented Musician

Ryan Norman, a talented rising senior at Paetow High School in Katy ISD was selected as the gold medal winner for the local ACT-SO Competition in the Music Instrumental Contemporary category for the NAACP Missouri City & Vicinity Branch in April 2023. He will advance to compete in the National ACT-SO Competition in Boston, Massachusetts in July 2023 during the 114th NAACP National Convention.

ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics) also known as the “Olympics of the Mind” is a national enrichment program under the administrative aegis of the NAACP. It was an idea conceptualized by Vernon Jarrett in 1976. The 1st National ACT-SO Competition was held in 1978 as an opportunity for students of color to showcase their academic and artistic abilities in up to 33 different categories. These real-life potential career paths allow students to compete in areas such as STEM, Humanities, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Culinary. Each spring, the local ACT-SO branch holds a local competition.

Students compete to earn gold, silver, or bronze medals. Students earning a gold medal at the local level advance to the National ACT-SO Competition to represent their local branch. Ryan’s exceptional musical abilities have allowed him to perform in various competitions with his high school band and earned him well-deserved recognition. His instrument of choice, the marimba, has African and Latino origins. Marimbists use 2-4 mallets to strike wooden plates creating a melodic sound.

Through countless hours of practice and dedicated commitment, Ryan has honed his skills to captivate audiences with his unique talent and inviting performance. Ryan expressed his gratitude for the opportunity, saying, “I am honored to be chosen as a final gold medal winner in the ACT-SO competition. This recognition motivates me to continue pushing the boundaries of my musical abilities. I am grateful to the NAACP Missouri City and Vicinity Branch for their support and to Paetow High School for fostering an environment that encourages creativity and excellence.” The 2024 ACT-SO season will begin recruiting students in October 2023. If you would like to learn more about ACT-SO, please email or contact the ACT-SO Chair, Sharmia Jones.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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