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Dominion Energy and S.C. Department of Education Invite High School Students to Enter Second Annual Writing Contest to Celebrate Notable African Americans



Press Release

Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) encourage high school juniors and seniors to enter the second annual Strong Men & Women in S.C. History student essay contest. The program builds on SCDE’s longstanding South Carolina African American History Calendar that honors prominent African Americans in the state who have made noteworthy contributions.

“Over the past 33 years, the South Carolina African American History Calendar has had a profound impact on our students in the classroom,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The South Carolina Department of Education is excited to once again join hands with Dominion Energy to offer this writing contest and challenge these juniors and seniors to reflect thoroughly on an important figure in their lives.”

All South Carolina high school juniors and seniors are invited to submit a 500-word essay for a chance to receive an Apple MacBook Air and $1,000 for their school. Winning students will be invited to participate in the unveiling ceremony of the 2023 African American History Calendar, and their essays will be showcased on the Dominion Energy and SCDE websites.

Students are asked to write about an African American with ties to the Palmetto state who has been inspirational in their lives. They must also discuss how that ​person has impacted individuals and communities in South Carolina.

“Our partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education gives talented students an opportunity to win valuable prizes while celebrating African American men and women who have made a mark in the lives of so many people and helped shape the history of our great state,” said Keller Kissam, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “It is my hope that every student who enters the essay contest will feel proud of themselves for doing something that can help them and their schools and for sharing the story of an African American who has inspired them.”

Dominion Energy and SCDE employees and volunteers will serve as judges and choose a winning essay from each of South Carolina’s five regions: Midlands, Upstate, Lowcountry, Pee Dee and Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

Essay contest timeline:

  • Deadline for entries is March 1
  • Judging will take place March 2 – April 3
  • Winners will be notified in late April

Each entrant must be a high school junior or senior at a public or private high school in South Carolina. Home-schoolers with an active, dues-paying membership to a home schooling association are also eligible. The $1,000 school award can be applied to a home schooling association. Learn more and enter the essay contest by visiting

About the South Carolina African American History Calendar

For the past 33 years, the South Carolina Department of Education and its statewide partners have produced the South Carolina African American History Calendar. An idea that initially was created to help bolster the state’s K-12 African American history curriculum, the calendar profiles individuals who have had positive, compelling impacts on South Carolina and, often, our entire nation.

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