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Contest Winners to be Recognized During Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration Steering Committee, in partnership with Aiken Technical College, the University of South Carolina Aiken, and Aiken County Public Schools, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay and Creative Visual Poster contests.

Contest winners will be recognized during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration scheduled for Sunday, January 23, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. in the USC Aiken Convocation Center. Doors open at 2:30 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.

The keynote address for the event will be delivered by U.S. House Majority Whip, Congressman James E. Clyburn. He serves as the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives and has represented South Carolina’s sixth congressional district since 1993.

Kindergarten through fifth-grade students in Aiken County participated in the creative visual poster contest. Their original designs represented what the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday means to them.

The following students submitted the winning entries for the kindergarten to second-grade category:

  • First place: Riley Hatcher, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School
  • Second place: Darcy Major, North Augusta Elementary School
  • Third place: Ethan Ewing, Busbee Elementary School

The following students submitted winning entries for the third to fifth-grade category:

  • First place: Micah Lunsford, Busbee Elementary School
  • Second place: Joslyn Creech, North Aiken Elementary School
  • Third place: Raegan-Taylor Gilyard, Millbrook Elementary School

Students who participated in the sixth- through 12th-grade essay contest were asked to explain what a selected quote from Dr. King meant to them. The quote chosen by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Steering Committee members was: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Middle school students' essays could not exceed 1,000 words, while the maximum word count for high school essays was 1,500 words.

The following students submitted winning entries for middle school:

  • First place: Adrianna Ashley, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School
  • Second place: Christopher Grover, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School
  • Third place: McKayla Smith, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School

The following students submitted winning entries for high school:

  • First place: Kimberly Morris, Aiken High School
  • Second place: Brianna Odle, Silver Bluff High School
  • Third place: Rena Humes, Aiken Scholars Academy

Whether they attend a public or private school or are homeschooled, all students in Aiken County were eligible to participate in the contests.

The first-, second-  and third-place winners in each category and their families are invited to attend the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration where they will be recognized and receive their awards.

Winning poster entries will be displayed during the community celebration.

Aiken Technical College and the University of South Carolina Aiken serve as co-presenters for the annual celebration.

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