2022 Student Writing Contest

Contest Overview

South Carolina high school juniors and seniors are invited to honor outstanding South Carolina African Americans by participating in Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Department of Education’s Strong Men & Women in South Carolina History student writing contest. Five (5) winning essays will be chosen.  Read more below and submit your essay entry at the bottom of this page.


South Carolina’s rich and vibrant history continues to be influenced by the contributions of the state’s African American community, the roots of which have helped shaped American history nationwide. South Carolina citizens like those highlighted in the 2022 S.C. African American History Calendar have been pioneers in a variety of fields, national leaders and role models for the next generation. Write about an African American who has lived in or greatly impacted South Carolina and has been an inspiration in your life. Discuss the contributions of the African American who has motivated and inspired you.

Contest Rules

  • Submit your 500-word essay below by March 1, 2022 for a chance to win an Apple MacBook Air and $1,000 for your school!
  • Each entrant must be a high school junior or senior at a public or private high school in South Carolina. Homeschoolers also may apply; the $1,000 school award can be applied to a homeschooler association if the winner’s family has an active, dues-paying membership.
  • One winner will be selected from Five Regions (Midlands, Upstate, Lowcountry, Pee Dee, CSRA).
  • All entries must be original works that have not been published or submitted for publication anywhere else.
  • Entries should not exceed 500 words.
  • Entries become the property of the South Carolina Department of Education and will not be returned.
  • The South Carolina Department of Education and Dominion Energy reserve the right to use the winners’ names and entries for promotional purposes in all forms of media without notice on their official website, review, approval or compensation, except where prohibited by law.


  • Deadline for entries is March 1, 2022.
  • Winners will be notified on April 18, 2022. Winning essays will be posted to the websites of both the South Carolina Department of Education and Dominion Energy.


  • Winning students will receive an Apple MacBook Air.
  • Winning students’ schools will receive an award of $1,000.
  • Winning students and their school representatives MUST attend the ceremony to receive their awards.

Judging Criteria

Content Reflection of careful and thorough thought
Focus Prompt questions must be answered, and main idea clearly articulated, or essay will be disqualified
Support Relevant, quality details about important thoughts and concepts
Style Essay flows well and shows good word choice and structure
Mechanics Correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation


Please email us at scafricanamerican@ed.sc.gov with any questions.