Students from Silva Magnet High School swept this year’s Skov Essay Competition on Business Ethics organized by the UTEP College of Business Administration.
The annual competition was launched in 2013 for seniors as a way to interact with the community and influence the ethical climate in El Paso.
Silva seniors Chieh-an Chen, Abby Blumenfield and Austyn Alvarez placed first, second and third place, respectively. Fellow classmate Ana Estrada earned Honorable Mention, along with Coronado senior Eva Garcia.
“It is absolutely an honor for my peers and I to be recognized by the College of Business Administration at UTEP, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have participated in such an interesting and educational competition,” Blumenfield said.
The competition in its pilot year reached more than 2,000 students. This year, the competition sought participation from 10,000 seniors from 47 different high schools in the El Paso area.
“This competition creates a positive impact in the community, and we are thankful to be a part of it,” Blumenfield said.
To participate in the competition students are asked to complete a survey on personal ethics before submitting an essay of 850 words or less addressing on the given topic. This year the students were asked to write about the topic “What can businesses do to encourage ethical behavior among employees in the workplace?”
Blumenfield found the essay subject matter has a profound impact on the economy.
“As a current student of economics, I was very aware of the effects business practices have on the health of the American economy and was able to understand why unethical practices harmed the economy as a whole,” Blumenfield said.
While Blumenfield focused on the broader aspect of the topic Alvarez stressed the importance of ethical behavior on the individual basis.
“I believe that every student aspires to be in a role of leadership someday, whether it be in the work-place, the community, healthcare, or any other professional setting, Alvarez said. “Knowing good ethics and how to apply them is important for every student to learn early on in order to carry it with them to their future careers.”
Alvarez is looking forward to his future career as a neonatal nurse. He will attend Baylor University and the fall and hopes his knowledge of ethics will continue to reinforce and elevate him as a person.
“I definitely believe that this will help me in my future college and career,” Alvarez said. “I hope to inspire other students around me to have the same viewpoint on ethical behavior that they can carry on with them to their own career choices.”
Alvarez was happy to place third in the competition, but was more happy to have take part in an event with his fellow classmates.
“I was very lucky to be able to place with other students that I share classes with,” Alvarez said. “These other students have definitely shown exceptional ethical behavior in my school and I am confident it will be carried along with them in the future and follow them down whatever path they choose to go.”
The College of Business Administration will present the students with their awards during a special ceremony on May 5 at the University.