Five High School Students Win Inaugural Strong Men & Women in South Carolina History Writing Contest

CAYCE, S.C. (June 15, 2021) – Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) have selected five winners in each of the state’s regions for the inaugural Strong Men & Women in S.C. History student writing contest.

“Dominion Energy applauds all high school students who took an interest and made the time to participate in our writing contest, and we extend a special congratulations to those whose essays rose to the top,” said Rodney Blevins, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “It is encouraging to see our next generation of leaders express their thoughts about causes as important as social justice and racial equity.”

“We commend the high school juniors and seniors who carefully researched and crafted highly competitive essays for this year’s student writing contest,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “A special congratulations goes out to Addie, Braylon, Carter, Imunique, and Mishka for their award winning submissions.”

Participating high school juniors and seniors submitted a 500-word essay describing what social justice means to them, how a lack of social justice throughout American history has affected minority communities and what actions they can take in support of social justice.

Volunteer judges, including employees from Dominion Energy, selected the five winners from more than 100 contest entries.

2021 Winners:

  • Addie Johnson, West Ashley High School (Lowcountry Region)
  • Braylon Ratcliff, Spring Valley High School (Midlands Region)
  • Carter Lanier, Silver Bluff High School (CSRA Region)
  • Imunique Herriott, HCS Early College High School (Pee Dee Region)
  • Mishka Richards, Indian Land High School (Upstate Region)

Each student will receive an Apple MacBook Air laptop and $1,000 for their school. In addition, these winners will be invited to participate in the unveiling ceremony of the 2022 African American History Calendar this fall.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Winning student essays are available on SCDE’s website and Dominion Energy’s website.

For more information:
Derek Phillips, South Carolina Department of Education,, (o) 803-734-0782
Kaytee Watson, Dominion Energy,, (c) 803-440-7581

About the South Carolina African American History Calendar

For the past 32 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 the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation

Through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy contributed more than $58 million in 2020 to community causes. The Foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education, and encourage community vitality. For more information about the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, visit


For further information: Contact Public Affairs, 800-562-9308