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Ethics are Critical Part of the 'Fabric Of America' Says Teen Winner of Junior Achievement/Deloitte Essay Contest

Submitted by: Deloitte

Categories: Ratings & Awards, Community Development

Posted: Jun 13, 2007 – 09:27 AM EST


Florida teen's essay chosen by panel of experts earning him a $5,000 scholarship

Jun. 13 /CSRwire/ - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. - Kevin Keen, age 19, of Longwood, Fla., was selected as the winner of a $5,000 college scholarship in the "Excellence through Ethics" essay contest sponsored by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (Deloitte) and JA Worldwide (Junior Achievement). Contestants were asked to compose an original, 500-word essay in response to an ethical dilemma about a young man who is possibly abusing his privileges as a university computer lab assistant. JA Worldwide solicited submissions earlier this year from U.S. high school seniors who have participated in Junior Achievement programs. "Business ethics is not merely an abstraction," wrote Keen, "but a practical tool that must be wielded in a manner that reflects its central importance."

This is the third annual "Excellence through Ethics" essay contest, and is part of a $2 million, multi-faceted effort by JA Worldwide and Deloitte to help raise awareness around the need for youth ethics education, and to provide young people with tools to help them make ethical decisions.

The "Excellence through Ethics" essay contest finalists' entries were judged by the Junior Achievement Blue Ribbon Panel on Ethics, an advisory group composed of corporate ethics officers and noted academics. Keen, a senior at Lake Brantley High School, plans to attend the University of Central Florida, majoring in finance and accounting. He will be recognized for his accomplishment this summer at JA Worldwide's annual leadership conference in Washington, D.C.

"JA Worldwide is extremely proud of Kevin for his outstanding work, and thrilled to recognize him for this achievement," said David S. Chernow, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. "Our annual polls on teens' views of ethics show that more than 40 percent feel significant pressure to succeed 'no matter the cost' upon entering the workforce. It is our responsibility to not only give young people the tools to enter and succeed in the workforce, but the tools to do so in an honest and ethical manner. We are honored to join Deloitte in being able to provide young people this vital information."

The ethics essay contest provides a forum for young people to test their thinking and explore their responses and options to ethical challenges. "It's important to understand that our system of business rests on trust and integrity, and how central ethical decision-making is to business success," said Ainar D. Aijala, Jr., Global Managing Partner, Consulting, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of JA Worldwide. "Kevin's essay underscored the practical application of making ethical decisions."

"I am both honored and grateful to receive this prestigious award, which will help finance my undergraduate education and enable me to focus on my studies," said Kevin. "The work being done by JA and Deloitte is truly helping educate young people about ethics and integrity, and I am glad they are making these important tools available to young people."

Results of the JA Worldwide/Deloitte 2006 Teen Ethics Survey indicated that more than a quarter of students who feel overwhelming pressure to succeed in the workforce are not prepared to make ethical decisions. The "Excellence through Ethics" initiative is intended to address the issue by offering lessons which align with Junior Achievement programs for grades 4-12. Junior Achievement programs are unique in that they are delivered by a volunteer from the community, and teach K-12 students age-appropriate concepts about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. The goals of the "Excellence through Ethics" curriculum include bringing the issue of business ethics to the forefront of students' minds and providing them the tools and training they need to become ethical business leaders. The lessons are available for download at

About JA Worldwide(TM) (Junior Achievement)

JA Worldwide is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA Worldwide provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA Worldwide offers educational programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today, 140 individual area operations reach approximately four million students in the United States, with more than 3.5 million students served by operations in 114 countries worldwide. For more information, visit

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names "Deloitte", "Deloitte & Touche", "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu" or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries or affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

Deloitte & Touche USA LLP is the US member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. In the US, services are provided by the subsidiaries of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, Deloitte Tax LLP and their subsidiaries), and not by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Bell JA Worldwide(TM)
Phone: (719) 540-6171
Lori Grey Deloitte Services LP
Phone: (212) 492-2865


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