Harvard-bound student asks high school to donate her $40K scholarship to others

By: Christina Santi 

Verda Tetteh, a senior at Fitchburg High School in Massachusetts, turned down a $40,000 scholarship during her graduation ceremony on June 4. The Harvard-bound student asked her school to give the merit award to another student who will need it, the Boston Globe reports. 

The college-bound senior was awarded her high school’s General Excellence award, which is accompanied by the George K. Progin Scholarship. The scholarship is worth $10,000 and is renewable annually for four years.   

During her initial address, Tetteh accepted the awards. After hearing the vice principal speak about selfless acts, she returned to the stage to offer the money to another student.  

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“I am so very grateful for this, but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most,” Tetteh said to her fellow graduates. 

She continued: “Knowing my mom went to community college and how much that was helpful, I would be so very grateful if the administration would consider giving the scholarship to someone who is going to community college.” 

The graduating senior wanted to help out another student because she had already received scholarships for her academic excellence. Last year, Tetteh was award the Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship by state Senator Dean A. Tran. It covers up to 50% of a student’s financial need at a US college of their choice. Additionally, she will receive Harvard financial aid, which covers 100% of a student’s demonstrated need.  

Tetteh is scheduled to meet with Fitchburg principal Jeremy Roche to discuss how they can redistribute the scholarship to other students.  

The high school graduate will attend Harvard this fall. She is majoring in chemistry on a pre-med track.  

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