Saturday, January 14, 2006

$5000 High School Senior Ethics Essay Contest

When I get older (and learn how to write), I'm going to enter a lot of different essay contests for scholarship money. The way I see it, the more I can get through essays and contests, the more I can save toward retirement (boy, doesn't that sound funny - a six month old talking about retirement) or other financial goals. There are a lot of essay contests out there and I will post any that I happen to come across. Here is one from Junior Achievement:

High School Seniors: Enter the "Excellence through Ethics" Essay Contest for the chance to win a $5,000 college scholarship!

Junior Achievement teaches students how to be successful in our free enterprise system. The students understand business, and they value ethics. JA defines ethics as rules or standards, for right/good behavior or actions.

Entries will be accepted until February 3

Contest Rules

This is the ethics question for the essay:

Lawn Care Service

Jessica, 17, has a summer-time lawn care business. One of Jessica’s customers is a neighbor, the Lee family. Jessica has mowed the lawn for Mr. and Mrs. Lee every week during the summer. Jessica is paid $20.00 each time she mows the lawn. Mr. and Mrs. Lee, who are unable to care for their yard themselves, frequently ask Jessica to do other yard work in addition to mowing the lawn. Jessica often pulls weeds, plants flowers, rakes leaves, and spreads mulch and pine straw. Mr. and Mrs. Lee have not offered extra wages for the additional work, and Jessica has been too shy to ask. Jessica’s other customers pay her additional wages for extra yard work beyond mowing.

Jessica is saving all of her money from her lawn mowing business for college. She is responsible for paying her tuition and all expenses and would like to make as much as possible this summer. One day, Jessica worked two extra hours pulling weeds at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lee after mowing the lawn. While checking her day’s payments at home that evening, Jessica noticed that an extra $100 bill was tucked inside the regular $20.00 bill from Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Jessica knows she has worked enough during the past summer to deserve the extra money, but she does not know if the Lees meant to give her such a large payment. Jessica wonders what she should do.

Essay Question: Jessica is faced with an ethical business decision. In 500 words or less, describe what Jessica should do. Be sure to explore the potential consequences of her response and why you think it is the most appropriate solution to the situation. Consider ethical behavior and decision-making as the foundation of your argument.

Thanks to Chree's World for pointing this contest out.

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