People can vote for as many essays as they choose, but only get one vote per essay. Students are encouraged to share their essay with friends and family or on social media to generate more votes. Only votes from the scholarship website will be considered. Only one essay per state will be chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship. 

Jackson Hedberg Gaines – Central Kitsap High School

The internet is undoubtedly one of the most impactful inventions to come out of the 20th century. It has revolutionized the world and how people view the world. For me personally, one of the best things to come out of this age of the internet, is the ability to watch sports highlights wherever I am, Instead of having to wait for the five o’clock news to watch sports highlights, with a few clicks, I was able to watch basketball, one of my favorite sports, whenever I wanted. This increase in the amount of basketball I could watch drew me to a compelling company, BBB, otherwise known as the Big Baller Brand. How could I not love the Big Baller Brand? It endorsed rookie star, Lonzo Ball, and his father Lavar Ball, owned the company.

Unfortunately for the basketball community, it turned out that the Big Baller Brand did not live up to the hype that myself, and many other basketball fans were expecting. Even Lonzo Ball, who was endorsed by the company, quit wearing his signature shoes after they gave him repeated injuries. The evidence was clear, Big Baller Brand was not a company that had good business practices; however, there is another BBB, the Better Business Bureau, that helps ensure that companies investigate companies like the Big Baller Brand, expose fraud.

With the era of the internet that allowed me to discover basketball the complexities of basketball, the personalities that participate and the sport, and also the companies that make goods for basketball. Despite the misfortune of having Big Baller Brand, a brand that I wanted to see thrive, turn to using poor business practices, it did expose me to how the internet makes shoppers more susceptible to scams and corrupt companies. 

From the experience I found with Big Baller Brand, it turned me into a savvy internet shopper, aware of the red flags of online shopping. Using the Better Business Bureau website, I learned tips to make sure that I can trust the businesses that I shop from. One of the easiest things to do to make sure that you are not being scammed is to make sure that the company you are shopping from is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and to make sure that the website you are shopping from is legitimate, missing contact information is often a sign that the website is not legitimate, additionally a legitimate website should start with “http://”. To ensure that your money is being spent how you intend to be is to use a credit card because it is easier to dispute charges that you do not approve of, debit cards and gift cards do not have the same protections that credit cards do. Finally, document all of your purchases. Save a copy of the confirmation of your purchase and understand the return policy so that if your item is unsatisfactory, it can be returned.

About BBB Northwest + Pacific Torch Talk

Torch Talk is an online and printed resource for both consumer and business news. It serves as a tool for businesses and consumers to learn more about the latest news and scam alerts, helpful business tips, BBB events and programs, and more. For more information or to subscribe, visit trust-bbb.org/torchtalk/.