Pay it Forward

Pay it Forward participation requires individual students or teams of up to four (4) students to write a short paper of 5-10 pages, create a video of 5-8 minutes, and take at least five (5) high quality still photographs that detail the issue your team is addressing and the viable solutions you have come up with to address actual problems that exist in South Carolina’s rural communities.

Students/teams may choose from a suggested list of topics to explore, but are welcome to identify and address another rural challenge.

Some examples of current rural challenges in the state include:

  • Difficulty attracting a well-educated workforce,
  • Hunger, particularly among school-aged children,
  • Food deserts,
  • A shortage of first responders, and
  • Insufficient public transportation and poorly maintained roads.

The topic should be a challenge for which students/teams have a passion, and their proposed solution should incorporate elements of the student’s/team’s academic discipline(s) or major(s).

Our hope is that by partnering with bright, engaged Bulldogs, Gamecocks and Tigers — and allowing honors students to apply their intellect expertise to long-standing problems — we will:

  • Make connections between students and members of cooperative-served rural communities,
  • Provide workable solutions that can impact and transform people’s lives,
  • Create opportunities for students to benefit from possible internships and job opportunities, and
  • Share the solutions with co-ops and their communities across the state with the goal of creating positive change.

Projects will be judged by a committee of electric cooperative board trustees. Winners at each school will receive $1,000. Additionally, the winning team's faculty advisor will receive $1,000. The grand prize winning team, chosen from the three school winners, receives $5,000 each.