Annual Journalism Contest

SC Governors Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

2024 Annual Journalism Contest: “Advancing Access & Equity”

2024 Contest Rules

  • Your article must address the theme “Advancing Access & Equity.” Inclusion of people with disabilities can be a vital part of America’s economic rebound from the pandemic. Given the opportunity, their skills and adaptability heighten the potential for a stronger workforce.
  • Your article should not exceed three (3) pages. Documentation of quotes or works cited may be on a fourth (4th) page.
  • Use correct grammar and sentence structure.
  • Report about people with disabilities in language that focuses on their dignity, equality, individuality and ability. Choose words that carry nonjudgmental connotations. Avoid using “victim,” “cripple,” “handicapped,” or “wheelchair-bound.” Emphasize the uniqueness and worth of the whole individual by writing “a person who has a disability” or “a person who is deaf” rather than “a disabled person” or “a deaf person.”
  • Research disability issues and interview people with disabilities. Resources can include your library, the Internet and organizations that serve individuals with disabilities. Your local S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department office provides services that prepare and assist eligible citizens with disabilities to achieve and maintain competitive employment.
  • Attribute all quotes, either within the body of the article or in footnotes.
  • Type your article on white 8 ½ x 11-inch paper. Double space. Font size should be no smaller than 11-point.
  • Include a separate cover sheet with your name, age, grade, home address, telephone number and email address. Also include your school name, school address, school telephone number and principal’s name.
  • Have your principal, teacher or sponsoring organization’s representative sign the cover sheet and indicate his or her title. In lieu of getting a signature, a document (such as an email) from the principal, teacher or sponsoring organization indicating their awareness of your contest submission will suffice.
  • Have any individual you interview sign the cover sheet. In lieu of getting a signature, a document (such as an email) from the individual interviewed acknowledging the interview will suffice.
  • On the cover sheet, include this statement with your signature: “I hereby confirm that the enclosed article submitted to the 2024 Journalism Contest is my own work. I wrote the article and conducted the research and any interviews (unless otherwise cited) used in the article.”

About the Contest

The winner of the 2024 Journalism Contest receives a four-year scholarship to the South Carolina state-supported institution of his or her choice provided, of course, that the winner is otherwise qualified.

The scholarship pays for undergraduate tuition and fees. Each institution has its own definition of tuition and fees.

The winner must be able to verify financial need (such as qualifying for a direct subsidized federal student loan) to the chosen state-supported institution, which typically requires completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Colleges and universities recommend that students in financial need complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 of the year they will enroll to establish eligibility for student aid. This may require providing income tax return information. The FAFSA is available at

The scholarship may be canceled if the recipient does not maintain general scholastic and conduct standards established by the institution.


To be eligible for the contest, you:
• must be a South Carolinian 16 to 19 years old;
• must not have entered a post-secondary school before March 1, 2024; and
• must be a high school senior, or otherwise qualified to begin post-secondary education no later than the 2024-2025 school year.

You do not have to have a disability to enter.

How, where and when to enter:
Entries must be postmarked no later than January 26, 2024. Send your article to Audrey Brown, Director of Communications, SCVRD, 1410 Boston Avenue, P.O. Box 15, West Columbia, SC 29171-0015.


The contest is judged by a panel of professional journalists.

For more information

If you have any questions or need more information, please call the S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department at (803) 896-6530.

Download the 2024 Annual Journalism Contest Brochure

2023 Annual Journalism Contest Winner

Congratulations to Jacob Myers, winner of the 2023 Annual Journalism Contest! Jacob, a senior at South Aiken High School, will be attending Winthrop University in the Fall.

Read Jacob's winning article.