Granby High Teen Awarded In Dominion Contest


Michael Holloman from Norfolk’s Granby High School was honored recently in Richmond by Dominion Virginia Power as part of  the 22nd Annual Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership educational series. High school juniors and seniors in North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia participated in the Strong Men & Women student writing contest. The students were invited to write essays about an African-American leader featured in the Strong Men & Women series.


Holloman’s winning essay was about President Obama. In it he wrote, “Barack Obama may seem like an obvious essay topic for a member of Generation Y, but for me, he represents more than just a president. He represents hope, pride, hard work, and dedication. He is a symbol to many young African-American men like myself who have all of the odds against them but still fight each and every day to make something positive out of themselves.”


The annual program highlights the accomplishments of selected African-American role models and tells their stories in an educational series distributed during Black History Month to more than 3,000 schools across Dominion’s natural gas and electric franchise service areas in Virginia, northeastern North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.


“For the youth who dream about being a fighter pilot, an Olympian, an elected city leader or an educator, we have provided the role models for them,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion president and chief executive officer. “The men and women we are honoring have reached those achievements and are living examples for the next generation of strong leaders.”

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The 2012 honorees were Jean Murrell Capers, first African-American female elected to the city council of Cleveland;  Christopher B. Howard, first African-American president of Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden, Va.;  Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of Richmond, Va.; Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell, first African-American female fighter pilot, U.S. Air Force, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.;  Carl B. Mack, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, Fort Washington, Md.; and Debi Thomas, first African-American athlete to win an Olympic medal in figure skating, Richlands, Va.


Other essay winners honored were Sam Bosley, Arlington, Va.; Tianna O’Neal, Lyndhurst, Ohio; Serenity Sanders,  Cleveland, Ohio; Meagan Swortzel , Bridgewater, Va.; Kierra Washington, Chester, Va.; and Mikel Zeidenstein, Boardman, Ohio Each winner received a notebook computer, and their schools each received a $1,000 cash award.


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