Business Ethics Foundation


Eligible Students:
Must have completed a JA Business Ethics Program prior to or during the 2016-2017 academic year.

A $1,000 scholarship to be paid when the winner is enrolled in an accredited college.

Will be offered the opportunity to Job Shadow within companies who have previously received the Rochester Business Ethics Award.

Submission Deadline:
June 2016

Finalists will be asked to attend the Rochester Business Ethics Award Luncheon in September 2017 where the scholarship will be announced.

JA Contact:
All essays with appropriate documentation which is indicated in the Contest Rules should be sent by the teacher to:

Junior Achievement of Rochester
1 S. Washington Street, Suite 110
Rochester, NY  14614

Contest Rules:

To ensure impartiality, the final evaluation will be carried out by judges at Junior Achievement of Rochester. All essays will be treated equally, using the same grading rubric. All essays must be received by JA by June 2016.

  • One submission is allowed per participant.
  • The essay should describe a specific plan the author would use to promote ethical decision-making in the situation provided (see the essay question for details) and follow the assigned judging criteria.
  • The essay should be between 300 and 500 words in length and must be turned into the classroom teacher for submission to the JA of Rochester office.
  • The essay submission must be the original work of the participant and submitted under the participant's name.
  • In addition to the essay, participants are required to provide the following information with their essay submission: student name and email address; parent/guardian name, email address, and telephone number; school name, telephone number, mailing address, teacher name and phone number; JA volunteer name; and essay title.

To ensure impartiality, the final evaluation will be carried out by judges at Junior Achievement of Rochester. All essays will be treated equally, using the same grading rubric. All essays must be received by JA by Friday, June 10, 2011.

Ethical Dilemma:
Imagine that you are a trainer of new employees' at a large corporation. During the training sessions you have specifically addressed the company's internet use policy, as well as have the new employees sign a form acknowledging those policies. Today you have found out, from the CEO, that a new employee who has recently gone through training has violated the company's internet use policy. The employee in question has been checking their profile on a social networking site a few times a day believing the company wouldn't notice it. Yesterday, the employee opened a posted message, which looked like it was from a friend, inviting him or her to look at a photo on their social networking profile. In reality, the link led to a phony website that installed malicious code on the company's server. As a result, all the company's stored information, including sensitive documents, has been compromised.

The CEO of the company has asked you to address the employee in question to determine corrective action as well as the entire company on cyber ethics in the workplace. Your job is to create an atmosphere in which the employees want to be ethical, understand why policies exist, and are aware of how their personal actions affect the company. Specifically, what is your plan to promote ethical behavior and decision-making in the company?

To print a copy of Contest Rules and Ethical Dilemma, please click HERE

Judging Criteria:
A maximum of 120 points may be awarded. JA of Rochester strongly encourages students to review the following criteria before writing their essay and again before submitting it. Note: Each criterion is assigned a maximum amount of points. If a student perfectly expresses a criterion, he or she will be awarded its maximum point value. If the student does not include a criterion at all, zero points will be awarded. Judges may award partial points if a criterion is only partially performed.

Ethics Content
1. The author described a specific plan in the essay for promoting ethical decision-making within the company. The plan demonstrated the author's critical-thinking skills.
20 points maximum
2. The author included and correctly applied two required concepts, code of ethics and interdependence.
20 points maximum  
Essay Structure
3. The author included an introduction that expressed the overall topic, theme, or thesis, and provided a preview of the essay's content.
15 points maximum
4. The author provided two, well-developed body paragraphs, including a main idea and supporting details.
10 points maximum
5. The author included a conclusion that restated the overall topic, theme, or thesis, and summarized the essay's main ideas.
10 points maximum
6. The essay was free of significant spelling, grammar, and other errors.
15 points maximum
Essay Quality
7. The author expressed originality in content ideas and/or used creativity in the content delivery.
20 points maximum
8. Overall, the essay was well-written.
10 points maximum

Deadline for Essay Submission

Student participants must submit essays to their classroom teacher. Teachers must contact the Junior Achievement of Rochester office to submit the essays by June 2013.

To print a copy of the Judging Criteria, please click HERE.

Questions, please contact Cati Pulver at 585.327.7409 or e-mail

As a business owner or manager, if you are looking for to develop your own "ethical edge", visit our partner in education, the Rochester Business Ethics Foundation website at