South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Helping people with disabilities to become and stay employed.
Helping businesses find and keep talent.

Journalism Contest

Logo: SC Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

Sponsored by the SC Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

Download the complete rules (PDF)


To be eligible for the 2020 Journalism Contest, you

  • must be a South Carolinian 16 to 19 years old;
  • must not have entered a post-secondary school before March 1, 2020;
  • must be a high school senior, or otherwise qualified to begin post-secondary education no later than the 2020–2021 school year.

You do not have to have a disability to enter.

The winner must be able to verify financial need 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.

How to enter

Entries must be postmarked no later than February 1, 2020.

Send your entry to:

Mark Wade
Assistant Commissioner
1410 Boston Avenue
P.O. Box 15
West Columbia, SC 29171-0015

2020 theme

The Right Talent, Right Now.


  • Your article must address the theme: “The Right Talent, Right Now.” It should emphasize the essential role that people with disabilities play in America’s economic success, especially in an era when historically low unemployment and global competition are creating a high demand for skilled talent.
  • Your article should not exceed three pages. Documentation of quotes or works cited may be on a fourth 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 school library, the public library, the Internet and organizations that serve individuals with disabilities. Your local South Carolina 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 8.5 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.
  • Have any individual you interview sign the cover sheet.
  • On the cover sheet, include this statement with your signature:
  • “I hereby confirm that the enclosed article submitted to the 2020 Journalism Contest is my own work. I wrote the article and conducted the research and any interviews (unless otherwise cited) used in the article.”


The contest is judged by a panel of professional journalists.

For more information

Call VR at 803-896-6530, or email us using the form below.