Verda Tetteh received a standing ovation as a class speaker during her graduation ceremony in Massachusetts. But what she did next wowed the crowd.
The Fitchburg high school student, who will attend Harvard College in the fall on a full scholarship, won an additional $ 40,000 scholarship from her high school at last week’s graduation ceremony. She could have used the scholarship for expenses, but instead the 17-year-old gave it away shortly after it was awarded.
“I’m very grateful for this, but I also know I’m not the one who needs it the most,” she told the graduates.
Tetteh told CBS News that her mother, Rosemary, an immigrant from Ghana who graduated from college at the age of 47, inspired her to give it to someone else.
“It was just the thought that someone sitting here might have a hard time like my mom did when she went to community college,” she said.
Her mother applauded from the crowd. “I was just happy, I got up and started screaming so loud! I was afraid those in front of me would be like, ‘Why is she so loud?’ But I was so happy with her decision, ”she said.
Tetteh plans to study chemistry at Harvard. It’s unclear who will receive the scholarship she abandoned, according to CBS Boston.
“You don’t have to have the world to be able to give anything, you know, what little you have, just think of others around you and how you can help,” he said. she declared.