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Harvard student wants her $ 40,000 scholarship to go to others in need


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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Students throw their mortars in the air during their graduation photo at the University of Birmingham graduation congregations on July 14, 2009 in Birmingham, England. More than 5,000 graduates will don their gowns this week to graduate from the University of Birmingham. A recent survey suggested that there are 48 graduates competing for every job. (Photo by Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

Kudos to Verda Tetteh, a recent high school graduate on her way to Harvard University, who wants to donate a $ 40,000 scholarship she won to a community college student.

The Boston Globe reports that Tetteh announced her decision to decline the scholarship, awarded to her by Fitchburg High School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, during the school’s graduation ceremony on June 4.

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Tetteh told the newspaper that she was inspired both by her Christian faith and by her mother, who moved Tetteh from Ghana to the United States when she was young and then graduated with her bachelor’s degree at 47.

From the Globe:

“I’m very grateful for this, but I also know I’m not the one who needs it most,” said Tetteh, who had previously addressed her fellow graduates as a class speaker, on stage. .

“Knowing that my mom went to community college and how helpful it was, I would be very grateful if [the] administration would consider giving the… scholarship to someone going to community college.

Tetteh told NBC Boston that she was “in awe” of her mother’s dedication to further education.

“… I think it’s something very difficult to do,” she told NBC Boston. “But she knew she wanted to improve her life and improve the lives of her children.”

Tetteh’s selfless act earned him a standing ovation from his peers, according to The Globe.

The cynical part of me wants to point out that while Tetteh’s decision to award this scholarship to another deserving person is more than admirable, neither would it be necessary in a perfect world where all 50 states offered tuition fees. free at the community college instead of the current 17. – or at the very least offered more equitable access to higher education for those who want it without having to depend so much on student loans.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, and the reality is that we should all be doing our best to make things easier for our fellow human beings who need a helping hand.

Verda Tetteh did it last Friday in a way that will make a big difference to someone on the road, and it deserves several standing ovations.

According to the Globe, Tetteh will meet soon with the principal of Fitchburg High to discuss the reallocation of the scholarship or its distribution among several students.

She plans to study chemistry with a pre-med track at Harvard.

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