DAYTON – The Better Business Bureau’s Center for Business and Consumer Ethics, Inc. announced its AES Ohio Students of Integrity winners.
This is the 19th year the BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley has recognized local high school seniors who exemplify strong ethics and integrity. The award includes a $1,000 college scholarship.
The Students of Integrity will be honored Aug. 24 at the BBB’s Eclipse Integrity Awards hosted at the David H. Ponitz Sinclair Center.
Troy Christian High School
Dilbone has enjoyed being a leader throughout her entire academic career. Not only has she served on student council, but she’s also served as team captain of the girls varsity soccer team and attended Chick-Fil-A’s Leadership Academy.
Through that program, she created and executed community service initiatives and volunteered at a local assisted-living program. This is in addition to her time teaching Sunday school at church, serving as a teacher’s assistant at school and maintaining a 4.38 GPA.
Dilbone hopes these skills will benefit her as she goes forward to attend Ohio Northern University in the fall to major in business.
“It is not about just one person succeeding or taking credit for the success, it is about encouraging others to succeed alongside you,” Dilbone said.
Piqua High School
Student council president and vice president, National Honor Society vice president, model UN delegate, Interact Club secretary and president are all titles Gastelu has held during her high school career. And, that is only the tip of the iceberg.
While never sacrificing her academic goals, Gastelu is an awarded athlete, poet, performer, blood donor, organizer and all-around school leader. Her long-term goal is to use what she learns from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina to open a shelter for women and children.
Gastelu already knows what she values most as a leader and said, “To accomplish true trustworthiness, one must be pure of heart and seek the solidarity unique to those who connect through mutual admiration and positive mentorship.”
Yellow Springs High School
Johnson believes the two most important things a leader can focus on are unity and respect. Centering her actions on these two values, she was ready to step up last spring as a leader of a Black Lives Matter organization called YS Speaking Up for Justice.
Through that experience, Johnson got to listen to people of many different backgrounds and beliefs discuss how the social justice movement affected them in disparate ways and how to find validity and empathy in everyone’s experience.
“Even if you do not agree with someone, it is important that each individual shows respect for one another so discussions about an issue can be productive and everyone can feel validated,” Johnson said.
Through this tumultuous year, she maintained a 4.0 GPA. Johnson plans to attend Case Western Reserve University this fall and follow a pre-med track.
Troy High School
Klopfenstein is no stranger to leading with integrity. He has attended the Hugh O’Brian Leadership Camp and Chick-Fil-A Leadership Academy. He’s been a Key Club officer and National Honor Society president.
He spent four years as a WACO Aviation Summer Camp mentor and was recognized by Troy High School staff as best male citizen. He’s also played varsity football and remained in the top five of his class.
Klopfenstein is considering a career in higher education, specifically teaching mathematics. He also hopes to work in mathematic research and to work in the field of unknown mathematical problems.
Klopfenstein’s thirst for wisdom and knowledge helps shape his views on leadership.
“Wisdom goes hand-in-hand with leadership; one who possesses wisdom and leadership has the ability to change the world,” Klopfenstein said.
Piqua High School
Pope will admit no one can truly know for sure the path his or her life is going to take, but he is sure of at least one trajectory for his – writing, specifically, journalism.
Though he has been involved with his school newspaper throughout high school, in the last year, he also has written for Youth Journalism International, The Hub and Unpublished. His goal is to align his love of journalism and global politics, and work as a conflict journalist for an independent news source.
Pope also has been a delegate of Piqua High School’s Gay-Straight alliance, speaking openly about finding his own truths.
Pope considers compassion for others to be one of the greatest aspects of leadership, writing we all must focus more on “Caring about another human being, for no other reason than because they are a human being, and deserving of respect. I know there are thousands of kids just like me, in schools across the country. All we need is a little compassion, and they too can see the light.”
A panel of independent judges selected these five students from more than 50 applications. All high schools in BBB’s service area received invitations to nominate two outstanding students from their senior classes.
Better Business Bureau believes identifying and honoring young people for strong integrity and character is vital to its mission of promoting ethics in the marketplace. Like the Eclipse Integrity Awards, the Students of Integrity highlight outstanding ethics. In bringing young adults to the forefront, BBB is closing the loop on what it takes to be a successful and contributing community leader whether business, nonprofit or individual.
“This year’s Students of Integrity Award recipients have turned adversity into success,” Ann Riegle Crichton, CBCE executive director, said. “They challenged themselves and their peers to the highest of ethical standards, character building and strived to make a difference. Honorees successfully navigated the hybrid virtual world and gave back to their community in new ways meeting uncharted needs. We celebrate this year’s class not only for their academic success but for the stamina they showed in facing adversity.”