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Harvard-bound high school student donates $40K scholarship to help others

Verda Tetteh asked that the money go toward other students in need instead.

FITCHBURG, Mass. — A 17-year-old high school student surprised everyone at her graduation ceremony on Friday when she turned down a $40,000 scholarship awarded by her school.

Verda Tettah received a full-ride scholarship to Harvard, and at her graduation ceremony from Fitchburg High School she won the school's scholarship for general excellence. The straight-A student was given $10,000 for each of her four years in college to use on books, computers or living expenses. 

Instead of taking the money, Verda took to the podium.

“It is such a great honor, but I also know that I am not the most in need of it,”  she said.

She suggested the money go to another student or students, for whom it might open a door to community college.

The details about who will get the money in her stead have not been worked out yet, but one thing is for sure. Verda is teaching us all what it means to be selfless, and already making the world a better place.

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