High School Grad Gifts Scholarship to Students in Need

Harvard bound Verda Tetteh surprises all with this act of kindness.

Jun 25, 2021
High School Grad Gifts Scholarship to Students in Need | Harvard bound Verda Tetteh surprises all with this act of kindness.

Generosity, kindness, and compassion are positive traits that can take a lifetime to acquire. Yet a 17-year-old high school student displayed these qualities in abundance with her spontaneous decision to give away a generous $40,000 scholarship.

Verda Tetteh declined the scholarship at her school graduation only moments after receiving it, explaining that she preferred the money go to a student who has a greater need, in this CBSN Boston video.

This straight A student from Fitchburg High School in Massachusetts is on her way to Harvard. At her class graduation ceremony, Verda won a prestigious scholarship for general excellence that offered her $10,000 each year for four years. The scholarship was to help her cover expenses such as living expenses, books, and computers.

She graciously accepted, sat back down then jumped up again, returning to the lectern to ask if she could say a few words. “It is such a great honor but I also know that I am not in the most need of it,” Verda said. She decided the money should go to struggling fellow students to help them advance in community college.

After her announcement, there was shock, and then applause followed by a standing ovation for this incredible act of kindness. Verda explained that right after receiving the scholarship, she thought about her mom, Rosemary Annan, according to the CBSN Boston video. Suddenly, she realized that she should do the right thing and donate the scholarship.

Verda’s mom embodies selflessness. She brought Verda and her family to the US from Ghana, often working 80 hours a week to support the family, according to NBC Boston. Annan always stressed the importance of education and, in fact, went back to school as a mature student and is now working towards earning a bachelor’s degree.

Annan also taught her children that they are blessed to be a blessing to others. She is very proud of her daughter’s selfless act. “That touched my heart, I would do that, I know I would do that, she’s learned from me over the years,” Annan told NBC Boston.

Her high school principal, Jeremy Roche, is also impressed with Verda’s act of kindness, saying, “What she did, it represents the best of humanity in a sense.”

Having received a few smaller scholarships and financial aid from Harvard, Verda  could have used the scholarship herself. However, she is happier being able to give it away. Verda will soon meet with Roche to discuss how to re-award the money, according to NBC Boston.

“I’m excited to see who it helps and how that changes their life. I am so happy God gave me the strength to do that,” Verda told CBS Boston. She chose to do the right thing and if given the chance, Verda says she would do it again.

“I know this lady is going to make a change in the world one day,” Annan proudly said about her daughter on the NBC News video. Verda is soon headed to Harvard as a chemistry major in pre-med. Although she is on track to having a successful career in medicine, she is already paving the way to help others by paying it forward.

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Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.