“I’m so very grateful for this. However I additionally know that I’m not the one who wants this essentially the most,” Verda Tetteh, 17, mentioned throughout the Fitchburg Excessive Faculty commencement ceremony on Friday.
The group, made up of her fellow classmates, their households, lecturers and faculty directors, applauded and cheered Tetteh after she made her announcement.
“When she began talking on the microphone, I used to be overwhelmed. I feel lots of people within the stadium have been, actually,” Principal Jeremy Roche mentioned. “I used to be so moved by her generosity.”
Tetteh, 17, advised CNN she plans to review biochemistry at Harvard School within the fall. Through the impromptu speech, Tetteh advised the gang that she was impressed by her mom, who had attended neighborhood faculty.
The college has awarded its Common Excellence Award to a graduating boy and lady since 1914. The prize was augmented in 2004 with a considerable monetary scholarship of $10,000 a 12 months, which could be renewed for as much as 4 years’ value of undergraduate training, Assistant Principal Tom DiGeronimo mentioned.
Tetteh had utilized for the award, “however for some motive, I assumed it could robotically go to somebody who wanted it extra, so I had dominated myself out.”
She mentioned she was initially pleased.
“Then I sat down, and it hit me. That is $40,000. That is some huge cash. Clearly I might use that,” Tetteh mentioned. “However there’s positively somebody sitting on this crowd who wants it extra.”
Rosemary Annan, Tetteh’s mom, had immigrated from Ghana, earlier than having Tetteh in the UK. She at present works two jobs, together with an in a single day shift at a bunch residence, she advised CNN.
Annan was “in shock” as she watched her daughter take the stage once more, however was proud when her daughter spoke about her hopes for the scholarship cash.
“I simply knew she’s prepared for me to let her be on her personal,” Annan mentioned. “I am not afraid, and I am not unhappy about it that somebody’s going to get some good assist. If I had gotten that assist, I’d have been thrilled.”
Tetteh has obtained further scholarships, along with monetary support from Harvard School, she mentioned.
The college is now within the means of contacting the household that had initially arrange the scholarship to see if they’d be open to reallocating the cash, directors advised CNN.
“We’re blessed to be a blessing,” Tetteh mentioned. “I assumed that I used to be within the place the place God has blessed me a lot, and I assumed it was the proper factor to do to bless any individual else.”