Here I am, always desperately searching for positive ethics stories, and there was a great one sitting for two months in my “Read This” file…
Verda Tetteh, a 17-year-old Fitchburg, Massachusetts high school senior, was already accepted into Harvard (poor kid!) which is going to pay her tuition, room and board. She also had qualified her other scholarships that would cover her college expenses. Her guidance counselor still urged her to go for another one, the $40,000 local award called “The General Excellence Prize.” Every year the prize goes to one male and one female student selected by a committee of teachers, administrators and guidance counselors
Verda applied to shut him up, essentially, assuming she would never win. But she did. She found out at her graduation ceremony on June 4, when the assistant principal of Fitchburg High School announced to the audience that she was the winner. Surprised, she accepted the award, thought hard as she walked away, then turned and walked back to the podium.
“I am so very grateful for this, but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most,” Verda said, her voice shaky. “I would be so very grateful if administration would consider giving the General Excellence scholarship to someone who is going into community college.”
Her fellow classmates and the crowd rose to give her a standing ovation.