An incredible act of generosity by one Harvard-bound high school graduate is going to positively impact the lives of multiple students pursing higher education at community colleges.
At her Fitchburg High School graduation, Verda Tetteh asked that her Massachusetts high school give the tens of thousands of dollars it had awarded her for a college scholarship to someone attending a community college instead.
"It is such a great honor, but I also know that I am not the most in need of it," Verda Tetteh said Friday.
The teen, who moved here with her mother and siblings from Ghana at age 8, was understandably nervous as she turned down $40,000 in scholarship money.
"I would be so very grateful if administration would be – would consider giving the – general excellence scholarship to someone who's going to community college," Tetteh said.
Fitchburg High School Principal Jeremy Roche confirmed Sunday that given the size of the award, more than one student will benefit from Tetteh's selfless choice.
Roche said they will be able to award scholarships to several students every year for the next four years. He added there will likely be a scholarship application to recent graduates who plan to seek further education at community colleges.
"What she did, it represents the best of humanity, in a sense," Roche said last week.
While Tetteh received a standing ovation from her graduating class when she made the surprising announcement, it was her mother, Rosemary Annan, who was perhaps most touched.
Tetteh's mother taught her children that they're blessed, to be a blessing to others.
Annan worked 80 hours a week while going to community college, and she's now working on her bachelor's degree.
Tetteh says while she could have used that scholarship, she got several smaller scholarships and financial aid to attend Harvard University next fall where she will be majoring in chemistry on a pre-med track.