The Steve Fund will team up with the NAACP in July to present new mental and emotional health programs for NAACP youth and their families. The activities will take place as part of the NAACP’s  ACT-SO competitions. The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics is a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. ACT-SO includes 26 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, business, and performing and visual arts. More than 260,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.

The Steve Fund will present and facilitate an evening, one-hour, online interactive session with up to an estimated 1,000 ACT-SO competitors to present tips and principles for charting and measuring success in ACT-SO, school and life. The Steve Fund presenter will address issues of performing in high stress environments, the importance of managing self-care, and encouraging steps to take to access help when needed. For about half the hour, the presenter will discuss previously-submitted questions and those that arise during the discussion, as time permits. NAACP will conduct this session via its Google Hangout platform.

On Thursday, July 14, at approximately 9:00 pm onsite at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, OH,, the Steve Fund will present a 30-minute in-person presentation to the approximately 2,200 competitors and observers to affirm each student’s purpose for competing and give them tools to mentally prepare to handle the stress that will come with competing the next day. The session will reinforce tips and strategies presented during the online May session, provide information about where to seek assistance if needed, and answer questions that arise, as time permits.

On Saturday, July 16, from 9:00 – 10:30 am, the Steve Fund will present a 90-minute workshop to approximately 2,200 NAACP ACT-SO competitors and observers during the national competition to undergird and promote the students’ success and contributions to our community with a focus on their mental and emotional well-being. The presentation will contain information about the important interrelationship between mental health and physical health, strategies for improving mental health and emotional wellness, and the unique challenges young students of color face as they go through high school, matriculate into college, and prepare for leadership positions in the workforce.