DARLINGTON, S.C. — Two Darlington County students, Grace Johnson of Hartsville and Caden Booth of Lamar, are among high school students who competed from across South Carolina for a chance at a $5,000 college scholarship in a competition sponsored by the state’s electric cooperatives.
They were participants in a virtual experience earlier this summer.
Both represented Pee Dee Electric Cooperative. Johnson was the recipient of one of the $5,000 scholarships and Booth was a finalist. She received a $500 scholarship.
The students were originally selected for a a trip to Washington, D.C., in June or a trip to Columbia in July, trips that would let them connect with other young men and women to learn about electric cooperatives and state and federal government issues.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced the cancellation of both in-person events. However, the students were able to connect virtually June 19-26.
During the experience, the students heard from state leaders, including Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.
The students also learned how they could compete for the $5,000 college scholarship by working in teams to create an audio podcast that explains how the COVID-19 crisis has affected their lives.
The winning group of student podcast producers were chosen by a panel of journalists, including Craig Melvin of NBC’s "Today" show, Kenneth Moton from ABC’s "World News Now" and Cindi Scoppe and Avery Wilks from The Post and Courier newspaper. Each participant in the winning group was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.
The winners were announced during a live WebEx event on Friday.