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Fitchburg High School Student Turns down $40k Scholarship to help a classmate

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Fitchburg High School graduate is heading to Harvard University, but before she starts her college career, she wants to help others do the same.

Graduate Verda Tetteh has a full ride to Harvard, upon the full ride she was awarded $40,000 scholarship for books, computers and living expenses but she turned it down. The $40,000 scholarships consisted of $10,000 for each of the four years. 

“Yes, I would do it again… It is such a great honor, but I also know that I am not the most in need of it,” says Tetteh. 

Verda – who is Harvard bound with a bunch of other scholarships – suggested the money go to struggling fellow student or students, for who it might open a door to community college. 

A standing ovation followed some moments of reflection for Verda, during which she heard the assistant principal urge grads to be “bold and selfless” and that made her think of her mom, an immigrant who often works 80-hour weeks to provide for her family. 

“I feel like you know God has gotten me this far and he will take me the rest of the way,” Verda said. 

The details of who now gets her scholarship haven’t been worked out, but as Verda tackles her pre-med regimen at Harvard this fall, even if she comes up a few bucks short here and there, she’ll know she did the right thing.

Fitchburg High School Student Turns down $40k Scholarship to help a classmate was originally published on CBS Boston.


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