BBB announces Students of Integrity winners

DAYTON — The Better Business Bureau’s Center for Business and Consumer Ethics, Inc. (CBCE) announces 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 Tuesday, Aug. 24 at the BBB’s Eclipse Integrity Awards hosted at the David H. Ponitz Sinclair Center. Four Miami County students, along with one Yellow Springs High School student were chosen.

• Maiya Dilbone

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 women’s 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. Maiya has found, “It is not about just one person succeeding or taking credit for the success, it is about encouraging others to succeed alongside you.”

• Alexis Gastelu

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 Alexis has held during her high school career. And, that is only the tip of the iceberg. While never sacrificing her academic goals, Alexis 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. Alexis already knows what she values most as a leader, and she says, “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.”

• Grant Klopfenstein

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. With all this leadership potential, it’s no surprise Grant is considering a career in higher education, specifically teaching mathematics. He also hopes to work in mathematical research and to work in the field of unknown mathematical problems. Grant’s thirst for wisdom and knowledge helps shape his views on leadership. He believes, “Wisdom goes hand-in-hand with leadership; one who possesses wisdom and leadership has the ability to change the world.”

• Zurie Pope

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 has also 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. Zurie has also been a delegate of Piqua High School’s Gay-Straight alliance, speaking openly about finding his own truths. Zurie 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.

Ann Riegle Crichton, CBCE executive director, said, “This year’s Students of Integrity Award recipients have turned adversity into success. 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.”