FSD3 Student One of Five Essay Contest Winners

FSD3 Student One of Five Essay Contest Winners
Posted on 05/17/2024

A Florence School District 3 student is one of five in South Carolina to be named a winner of the fourth annual Strong Men & Women in South Carolina History student writing contest sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and Dominion Energy.

One winner was selected from each of South Carolina’s five regions: Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee, and Upstate.

Chandler Brandon, a student at J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School, was selected as the winner for the Pee Dee area. She was recognized during the monthl;y meeting of the FSD3 board of trustees Thursday, May 16.

“Each essay submitted offered unique perspectives highlighting remarkable South Carolinians who have inspired and influenced the lives of our young storytellers,” said State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver.

The contest encourages South Carolina high school juniors and seniors to write a 500-word essay about a different topic annually. This year’s essay was inspired by historic South Carolinian Mary McLeod Bethune, a renowned educator and civil rights activist from Mayesville, whose legacy of educational entrepreneurship and literacy has made a lasting impact on individuals across the Palmetto State. Bethune once said, “The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.” Students were asked to write about an African American from South Carolina who has positively impacted their educational journey.

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.

“I look forward to this time of year because I get to read outstanding essays written by outstanding students," said Dominion Energy South Carolina President Keller Kissam. "From the mountains to the sea and all points in between, they truly represent the greatness of our beautiful Palmetto State."

Winners will receive an Apple MacBook Air, and their school or home school association will be awarded $1,000. In addition, winning students will have the opportunity to participate in the 2025 African American History Calendar unveiling ceremony. Their essays will be showcased on the Dominion Energy and SCDE websites.

Read Chandler Brandon's Essay