Harvard-bound high school senior shocks graduation ceremony by giving away $40,000 scholarship, saying it should go to a classmate attending a community college

Verda Tetteh speaks at the Fitchburg High School graduation ceremony. (Handout)

She could teach a class on gratitude.

A Massachusetts high school graduate headed for Harvard University in the fall asked for her school to give its scholarship award to a classmate going to a community college.

Verda Tetteh earned the general excellence award at Fitchburg High School, which came with a $40,000 scholarship, Boston NBC affiliate WBTS reported. But Tetteh had also earned several other scholarships, and decided to make the bold move as she sat at her graduation ceremony Friday.

“I am so very grateful for this but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most,” she told the audience. “And knowing my mom went to community college, and how much that was helpful, I would be so very grateful if administration … would consider giving the general excellence scholarship to someone who’s going to community college.”

Administrators at Fitchburg High, about 40 miles west of Boston, were stunned.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” principal Jeremy Roche told the Washington Post, adding that he was glad he didn’t have to follow Tetteh’s speech.

Roche said the school will work with Tetteh and her family to honor her request.

Tetteh’s mom, Rosemary Annan, earned her bachelor’s degree from a community college at age 47, according to local CBS affiliate WBZ. The family immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana when Tetteh was a child. Annan said her daughter’s decision Friday gave her confidence in her future.

“Now I’m 100% sure she is ready to go into the world on her own.”

SOURCE: New York Daily News – 

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