Dominion Energy and S.C. Department of Education Accepting Entries for Third Annual Essay Contest Celebrating Notable African Americans


For The Press and Standard

Columbia, S.C. - Junior and senior high school students in South Carolina will have a chance to win an Apple MacBook Air and $1,000 for their school or home schooling association if selected as a winner of Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) third 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.

“For over 30 years, the South Carolina African American History Calendar has honored individuals and families that have made a profound impact on our beloved state,” said State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver. “The South Carolina Department of Education is excited to continue our partnership with Dominion Energy as we offer this unique opportunity to remember the lasting legacy of our history and showcase the talent of industrious young writers who will make that history in the future.”

This year’s essay draws inspiration from the highly anticipated opening of the International African American Museum in Charleston. South Carolina high school juniors and seniors are invited to submit a 500-word essay about why they think it is important to learn the history of African Americans and their contributions to the state. Winning students will have the opportunity to participate in the 2024 African American History Calendar unveiling ceremony. Their essays also will be showcased on the Dominion Energy and SCDE websites.

“This partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education is about giving students a platform to share their reflections on the remarkable contributions of African American men and women to the Palmetto State,” said Keller Kissam, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “Our great state has an abundance of beautiful natural resources from the mountains to the sea, but our most valuable resources are our people – people from the past, people from the present, and people like these students who are going to shape the future.”

Dominion Energy and a panel of teachers 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 24.

• Judging will take place March 28 – April 17.

• 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 34 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.

About Dominion Energy

About 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to safely providing reliable, affordable and sustainable energy and to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050. Please visit to learn more.