Teaching teen’s ethics: Vermillion business leaders promote integrity

According to one South Dakota teen, "Ethics are important no matter what profession you are in or where you work.  Ethics define your character."

In large numbers, teens today express a troubling contradiction when it comes to ethics.  They admittedly express confidence in feeling prepared to make the right choices in the future, but freely admit to

Vermillion community members who took part in the JA Excelling through Ethics program include (front) Mary Merrigan, Brenda Fergen, Laura Hollingsworth, Sheila Prosser, Chris Girard, and (back) Andy Howe, Paul Eickhoff, Craig Thompson, Paul Priester, Scott Munger, John Prescott, Mike Carlson and Tom Sorenson.

unethical behavior today.  80% of teens surveyed say they are ethically prepared, but more than one third of students believe you must break school rules to succeed and nearly half say lying to parents and guardians is acceptable.

These feelings among teens raise concerns to employers.  Through Junior Achievement, business executives and community leaders will take time from their busy schedules to discuss with teens the necessity of ethics in the workplace and personal lives.  The Vermillion event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, 2011.

Junior Achievement works to provide tools and role models to teens to help them become prepared to make ethical decisions.  Through the JA Excelling through Ethics program, these business executives will share basic values and beliefs, as well as engage students in discussions on the role of ethics in their school life and in their own personal and business dealings.

The impact of the program is substantial.  Throughout South Dakota, over 350 business executives will impact more than 6,000 high school students through the program.  After participating last year, one teen expressed, "The choices you make sets a reputation for your character."  That reputation is being molded through this JA program and these community leaders.

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