2023 podcast competition winners

Three South Carolina high school students won $5,000 each in an audio podcast scholarship competition sponsored by South Carolina’s electric cooperatives.

The winners are Leila Blackwell of Summerville (Berkeley Electric Cooperative), Charlotte Beth Burns of Swansea (Aiken Electric Cooperative) and Alex Rosier of Estill (Palmetto Electric Cooperative).

The three students were among a group of 43 students from across the state who participated this summer in the 2023 Cooperative Youth Summit, a four-day leadership experience that offers students the chance to learn more about state government and electric cooperatives—and the role co-ops are playing in the state’s energy future.

The rising juniors and seniors met with state government leaders, explored careers at a distribution cooperative and took rides in all-electric vehicles—all while competing for a $5,000 scholarship.

The winning group was selected by a panel of journalists that included Darci Strickland of WLTX-TV, Jeffrey Collins of The Associated Press, Sarah Ellis of The State newspaper and Victoria Hansen of South Carolina Public Radio.

In addition to the $5,000 winners, several other students from across the state are recognized as finalists in the competition. The finalists are:

  • Charlie Bonds (Fairfield Electric Cooperative)
  • Janiyah Burns (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
  • Danny Clancy (Lynches River Electric Cooperative)
  • Amir Goolsby (Laurens Electric Cooperative)
  • Tabais Hennigan (Horry Electric Cooperative)
  • Grayson Hodge (Edisto Electric Cooperative)
  • Kayliegh Lloyd (Horry Electric Cooperative)
  • Alexandru Mut (Black River Electric Cooperative)
  • Owen Roddy (Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative)
  • Roman Phillips (York Electric Cooperative)
  • JJ Smith, Jr. (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)
  • Jordan Smith (Berkeley Electric Cooperative)

The students’ podcasts are available here