It’s graduation season and part of the excitement for teenagers crossing the stage is knowing that they have already been accepted to colleges throughout the U.S. But the most important part of that acceptance is knowing they have the money to attend.
In Riverside, California, a $1,000 scholarship for college from the local Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club was awarded to a white teenager, Jeffrey Warren, 17. The only problem with the award was that it was meant for an African American student.
According to MSNBC, Warren didn’t realize that the scholarship he applied for was for African Americans. He had applied online and never saw anything stating his ineligibility. When he stood up to accept the award, chuckles came from around the room. Etta Brown, chairwoman of the club’s scholarship committee said:
“We just couldn’t believe it at the outset. It was really something. There was a mixed feeling in the crowd.”
But Warren and his parents decided to return the scholarship and there were no harsh feelings on either side. He remembered how nice they were to him when he accepted the money in spite of his mistake:
“They still shook my hand, they still said ‘thank you.’”
Warren has already begun to receive offers from others for giving back the money. He may end up with a lot more than the $1,000 he returned to the club. His school’s principal Darel Hansen told MSNBC.com that since the story hit the headlines:
“…several people have contacted the school ‘asking where they could send a check to make a donation to Jeffrey.’
Not only that, several teachers came to his graduation party at his home on Saturday and “presented him with an envelope with $351 in cash donations collected from school staff.”
The scholarship has been re-awarded to an African American female student.
Read more here.