I don't think I need to tell you that sending a kid to college is expensive. If my kid decided to give back a $1,000 scholarship, I think I'd be having a heart attack. But Jeffrey Warren didn't have a lot of options. The California high school graduate is white, and the scholarship was supposed to go to a black kid.
He could have kept it ... legally. But Jeffrey Warren did something that too few kids do these days.
He showed people that it's better to win things "fair and square" than it is to simply "win." That's a pretty hard thing to teach a child. It's not like a mathematical equation where the right answer is directly in front of you.
In this case, Warren didn't know the scholarship was directed toward kids of color. The Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club had mentioned the scholarship's race stipulation in a letter to his high school guidance counselor, but it wasn't in the wording of the actual scholarship. And the Senior Citizens Club didn't know Warren was white until he stood up during the graduation ceremonies to accept his award.
He says he gave the money back because:
I knew they were trying to do a good deed for the African-American community. I had no trouble giving it back to them at all.
He makes me feel hopeful for the future. And he makes me want to send a letter to his parents asking for tips on raising such a great kid. I am still struggling with how to teach my daughter the concept of being a "bigger person."
Jeffery Warren could have had a cool chunk of change to spend on college. That "seems" right. After all, he applied. He "won" the scholarship. And I'm sure it would have helped his parents financially. But the fact that this kid decided to right a wrong here should help his parents even more ... at least it helps them know that they've done a good job in raising a future member of society.
What would you have done if Jeffrey was your kid winning the scholarship intended for a kid of a different race?
Image via gadgetdude/Flickr