Podcast earns Hilton Head teen $5,000 scholarship

We have a winner!!! A HUGE congratulations to Mackenzie Starnes, Palmetto Electric’s Virtual Youth Experience representative from Hilton Head Island High School, on being part of the winning team for the Virtual Youth Experience Podcast Competition!  Mackenzie, along with her teammates, will receive a $5,000 college scholarship!!!

Starnes was part of a three-person creative team which included Grace Johnson of Hartsville and Salena Robinson of West Columbia, each of whom received the scholarship award. Their winning podcast, which was announced on July 31, was chosen among 20 by a panel of journalists that included 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.

The winning team competed against groups of 74 other high school students from across South Carolina, who had been selected by their local cooperative to participate in Virtual Youth Experience (VYE). VYE was a web conference which took place June 19–25 and allowed the students to engage with state leaders including Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell, among others. Following VYE, each team wrote, recorded and produced the short form audio features about how the COVID-19 crisis and other recent events have impacted their lives.

Congratulations to Palmetto Electric’s other representatives, Zamya Fields, Orlando Leyva and Brittany Ramirez, for being finalists in the competition. We are so proud of all of you and wish you the best of luck!

The future is bright, thanks to future leaders like these!

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