What is the Integrity Counts! ® Legacy Fund?
16 years ago, when the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Idaho & Eastern Oregon presented the first Integrity Counts! ® awards to four local businesses we made a promise to ourselves and to our community that the Integrity Counts! ® program would be more than just a one-day a year event. Instead we committed that the annual gala event would be the center of a year-round program of building and growing ethics as a culture in our business community. Well, these things do not happen over night, and so it has taken a few years to see the full legacy of that original idea come to life.
The Integrity Counts! ® Legacy Fund was started to promote the ideal of business ethics to students in our high schools, colleges or universities. The mission of the Legacy Fund is to utilize the energy of those who are currently practicing great integrity in their workplace to help build a future of business leaders who likewise see the value of ethical behavior.
The BBB believes that the Integrity Counts! ® program not only has an opportunity, but an obligation to cultivate future business leaders who share a passion for excellence and hold integrity in their hearts.
The first steps began with a partnership with Professor Mark Buchanan of Boise State University and his business policies and ethics class who worked with the Integrity Counts! ® team at the BBB throughout their school year to study and promote local business ethics.
During the summer of 2005, we were privileged to have a very bright 15 year old high school student work with us at the BBB. Nicole Bateman spent much of her free time developing a special internet based education center for teenagers. Nicole filled this site with resources to help her peers have knowledge and understanding to make ethical and wise decisions for themselves. And then, Nicole did something rather extraordinary. Nicole invited a panel of three teenagers plus herself to sit down and have a candid conversation about what ethics and integrity in business looks like and means to them. The video that was produced was very insightful and eye opening. The conversation between these four teens showed just how much they have to say about how they see ethics in business today and what they wish for the future.
In 2006 we developed a scholarship program recognizing high school students who personify high ethics demonstrated through leadership, community service, overall personal integrity and academic history. Part of the criteria for the scholarship program is to write an essay on what ethics means to the student. We will award two $500 scholarships each year at the Integrity Counts! ® celebration.
If you would like to join us in fostering ethical behavior in our youth, please make a donation to the Integrity Counts! ® Legacy Fund. The donation is tax deductible and will be used to further programs for young people in our communities.
For further information on making a donation please email Sydney Warner.