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Dominion Energy Virginia and the Library of Virginia present Strong Men & Women in Virginia History. This program honors distinguished African-American leaders in Virginia, and features a student writing contest.

The 2020 awards ceremony was held on February 6 at the Richmond Marriott. (View a news release.) This year marks the 30th anniversary of the "Strong Men & Women" series. The 2020 honorees made great advances in the fields of engineering, sports, law and activism.

2020 Honorees:

  • Kaci M. Easley, Government Official, Charles City County
  • Penny J. Franklin, Community Activist, Montgomery County
  • Joycelyn S. Harrison, Chemical Engineer and Mentor, Hampton
  • Torrey Smith, Super Bowl Champion & Philanthropist, Westmoreland County
  • Marcus D. Williams, Judge and Civic Leader, Fairfax

Student Writing Contest

High school students across Virginia are invited each year to honor outstanding African Americans by participating in Dominion Energy Virginia and Library of Virginia's Strong Men & Women in Virginia History student writing contest. Four winning essays are chosen, one from each of the four regions that Dominion Energy Virginia serves (Central, Eastern, Northern and Western).

The winners of the 2020 Strong Men & Women in Virginia History student essay writing contest:

  • Rebekah Bautista: Massaponax High School/Commonwealth Governor's School, Fredericksburg
  • Jy'Mir Starks: Great Bridge High School, Chesapeake
  • Ilaria Cabell: Forest Park High School, Woodbridge
  • Ava Seagle: Gate City High School, Gate City

Winners

Winning students and their school representatives MUST attend the ceremony to receive their awards.

Winning students will receive an Apple MacBook Air!

Winning students’ schools will receive an award of $1,000!

Dominion Energy and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) present Strong Men & Women In South Carolina History. Building on SCDE’s longstanding South Carolina African American History Calendar, which honors prominent African Americans in the state who have made noteworthy contributions, the Strong Men & Women in South Carolina History program will now feature an essay contest for high school students.

All South Carolina high school juniors and seniors are invited to honor outstanding African Americans by participating in the contest. Five Winning essays will be chosen from each of South Carolina’s five regions: Midlands, Upstate, Lowcountry, Pee Dee and Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

Congratulations to the following 2022 Student Writing Contest Winners:

Essay winner Hayley Hylton of Oceanside Collegiate Academy

Hayley Hylton, Junior

Oceanside Collegiate Academy (Lowcountry)

Read Hayley's Essay

Essay winner Shaniya Jeffcoat of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Shaniya Jeffcoat, Senior

Orangeburg Wilkinson High School (Midlands)

Read Shaniya's Essay

Essay winner Jayla Jones of Lake City Early College High School

Jayla Jones, Junior

Lake City Early College High School (Pee Dee)

Read Jayla's Essay

Essay winner Tyleigh Spiller, homeschooled in Edgefield

Tyleigh Spiller, Junior

Homeschooled in Edgefield (CSRA)

Read Tyleigh's Essay

Essay winner Sarai Winkler of the Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities

Sarai Winkler, Junior

Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (Upstate)

Read Sarai's Essay

Winners

Winning students and their school representatives will be invited to attend a ceremony to receive their awards.

Winning students will receive an Apple MacBook Air!

Winning students’ schools will receive an award of $1,000!

Winners from Previous Years

2021

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