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usatoday – Senior at Harvard offers surprise scholarship

High school student Verda Tetteh could have added a surprise $ 40,000 Fitchburg High School scholarship to her collection of scholarships and financial aid to pay for her studies at Harvard. But instead, she asked the school to give the scholarship money to someone who needed it most.

Tetteh, who immigrated to the United States with her family from Ghana, gave a powerful speech on resilience at the start of the Massachusetts school’s graduation ceremony on June 4. When she spoke, she was still unaware that she had been chosen as one of the two students who would receive the school’s General Achievement Award.

“And I say resilient because if we’re being honest with ourselves, some of us are born with the odds against us not arriving today,” Tetteh said in her speech. “And I say resilient because all of us, teachers and professors and students, faced a great challenge when the pandemic hit. But we were and we are resilient, and we did.”

After taking his seat, the school’s principal assistant announced the two winners of the $ 40,000 scholarship – and Tetteh was one of them. It was a shock to her.

Verda Tetteh at her graduation ceremony.

“I mean I applied a month ago, but also a ton of other amazing students applied, so I had no idea I was going to get it,” Tetteh told USA TODAY.

After receiving the award, she listened to the deputy director talk about being “selfless” and “daring”. It was then that she made the decision.

“I’m very grateful for this, but I also know I’m not the one who needs it the most,” Tetteh said. She had received other scholarships and financial aid that she plans to use to finance her studies.

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