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PA Cyber Graduate Won Gold Medal STEM Award at NAACP Academic Olympics

Aug 29, 2022

Madison Stokes brought home a medal two years in a row.

Midland, Pa. (August 30, 2022) – Madison Stokes, a 2022 graduate of PA Cyber, earned a gold medal in the STEM: Medicine and Health category at the NAACP ACT-SO national competition last July. ACT-SO stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics and recognizes excellence in young leaders. At this annual event, high schoolers compete across 32 categories.

Last spring Stokes won a gold medal at the ACT-SO regionals near her hometown in Harrisburg, which was her ticket to nationals. She has competed at nationals in each of the last four years, taking home a bronze medal last year. This year, she distinguished herself again by earning the top award in the STEM category with her project titled “The Effects of Long COVID-19,” for which she surveyed 100 people about lingering effects from the virus. 

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me this year and throughout my whole ACT-SO journey. It truly takes a village. Saying 'hard work pays off’ has a deeper meaning to me,” Stokes said. She expressed gratitude for guidance from several mentors and her parents.  

“We are and have been exceedingly proud of Madison,” said Kaaba Brunson, chairperson of the Greater Harrisburg Area NAACP ACT-SO Program. “Her growth and development in the program have steadily improved each year and peaked this year by bringing herself and our chapter distinction by winning the gold medal at nationals.” 

Stokes’ ACT-SO achievement followed her graduation from PA Cyber in June. She began her studies at Chatham University this fall where she is an honors student majoring in neuroscience. She has received a full academic and merit scholarship from the university. 

“PA Cyber’s slogan ‘the learning never stops’ has really stuck with me,” Stokes said, “even when I was a little girl in PA Cyber and then when I returned for 11th and 12th grades. Knowing that there’s always something to improve upon has been reinforced at PA Cyber.” 

PA Cyber CEO Brian Hayden said, “I am thankful that Madison chose to earn her diploma at PA Cyber. We are excited to see what Madison accomplishes in the future. She was a standout student, and I know she will continue to be one in college.” 

While attending PA Cyber, Stokes was the first president of the Youth Ambassadors Club, president of the school’s DECA chapter, technology officer in Student Council, and member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. She is also an Archonette member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, which focuses on community service, sisterly love, and scholarship.

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instruction methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families.