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One $5000 scholarship and two $2500 scholarships will be awarded by the Tri-State Better Business Bureau Foundation to high school seniors in our 18-county service area. Applicants are invited to submit essays that demonstrate an understanding of ethics. Students are also asked to submit transcripts and letters of recommendation to display excellence through academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and/or community involvement.

The scholarship is payable to the college of the recipient's choice and is not restricted in any manner other than it must be used for school-affiliated expenses during the first academic year. This can be fees, tuition, books, room and/or board, or other related items. A recipient must apply this scholarship to the college of his/her choice within two years of the date awarded.

Applications will be accepting beginning September 1, 2014, the Torch Awards are on November 20, 2014. Applications must be received by October 15.



The applicants must be high school seniors during the 2014/15 academic year. Applicants must attend a school within our 18-county service area and must plan to attend a college or university after graduating high school.


Your essay should recount and discuss an occasion in your life when you faced an ethical dilemma and what you learned from it. An ethical dilemma typically involves a "right or wrong" situation or decision in which someone benefits in some way and someone else is harmed (or in which someone's rights are denied). This need not be an occasion when you behaved well, though it could be. But it must be an occasion when you faced an ethics-oriented choice, made a decision, and acted (or failed to act) - and then learned something; e.g., a valuable lesson about right and wrong. The example can be drawn from any time in your life and from any part of your life (e.g., school, work, sports, church, a romance, time spent with friends or on Facebook/Twitter). In the discussion, be sure to make it clear why this was an important event in your life and what you learned from it.

Acknowledgement: This essay topic was originally developed by the Gilliam Center for Ethical Business Leadership at James Madison University (


Please provide a copy of everything requested below:

    1. Application Form completed and signed. (Please note: all fields in the form must be completed. Applicants submitting incomplete forms will be disqualified.)
    2. Letter of Recommendation and Cover Sheet from a counselor, teacher, employer, or representative from a charity that can verify and speak to your activities, honors, character, etc. The letter must be accompanied by a cover sheet (see attached) that is signed and dated by the counselor or teacher.
    3. List of Activities including school clubs, memberships, involvement in community organizations or charities, sports teams, etc.
    4. Essay: Include your 750-1000 word essay written using MLA format. All essays become property of BBB. Winners' names may be released to the public and news media for promotional purposes.Please include the word count at the bottom of the essay.

You will be scored on presentation, spelling and grammar. Your essay will be a critical part of your overall score.

An independent panel of judges will evaluate essays using the following criteria:

  •     •  understanding of given topic in relation to ethics;

  •     •  literary style, grammar, and spelling;

  •     •  originality in presenting a thoughtful interpretation of the topic;

  •     •  and effectiveness in presenting a point of view.

The panel of judges will also review letters of recommendations and other information provided by the student that details extra curricular activities, etc. Your essay, however, will be a critical part of your overall score. Judges will be looking for an applicant that serves as a positive example to his or her peers.


Student's Name
Home Address
Home Telephone
School's name (or specify home school):
Parent's/guardian's name:
Parent's/guardian's daytime telephone number:


Please provide a copy of everything requested below:

I have included my 750-1000 word essay addressing the given topic.

I have included a letter of recommendation from a faculty or staff member, counselor, employer or community leader.

I have included a list of my activities, affiliations, memberships, etc.

Use the "Browse" button to find your file:

I am submitting an original essay to the Better Business Bureau Students of Integrity Scholarship Essay Contest. I certify that this essay is my own work and that I have abided by all guidelines and requirements of the Students of Integrity Essay Contest. I understand that I must be a senior at a high school in one of the 18-counties* the Tri-State BBB serves for the entirety of the contest. I understand that my essay will not be returned to me and will become the property of the Better Business Bureau to use at its discretion in activities related to the promotion of ethics, trust and integrity and for publicizing the contest. I further understand that the judges' decisions are final.



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