Liberian teen’s selfless act leads to HBCU scholarship

One Liberian student gets the chance of a lifetime after a day An act of selfless generosity. Emmanuel Tolo returned a bag containing more than $50,000 he found on the side of the road, and now the Liberian teenager is going to college.

Mr. Tolo, a West African teenager and motorcycle taxi driver living in Tapita City, Liberia, found the money in a bag while working last month. Having heard on the radio that a local businesswoman had lost a large amount of money, he realized that the bag belonged to her, and returned it with all the money in it.

Mr. Tuloe was initially concerned about his safety after the bag was found, and gave the money to his aunt for safekeeping until he could find its owner. “Because it was a lot of (money), I brought it home and gave it to my aunt to keep so that the owner could ask for it,” he said in an interview.

Emmanuel Tolo. Image source: Mubarak School

Unfortunately, not everyone agreed with his decision to return the money. Mr. Tullo continued: “Since my decision, when I idled the highway and some of my friends saw me racing, they are not helping. They say I acted stupidly to find and return the money.”

However, it was his act of generosity and selflessness that led to an even greater reward: Opportunity to go to university in the United States. Mr. Tullo, who dropped out of school in the seventh grade in order to support his family through work, will attend Livingston College, a historic black college or university (HBCU) in North Carolina.

Every four years, the school, located in Salisbury, North Carolina, offers two Liberian students the opportunity to attend college without tuition, thanks to a partnership with the school’s Liberian organization. When the head of the school, Jimmy Jenkins, learned of Mr. Tullo’s good work, he reached out to the young man and offered him a scholarship.

In addition, Mr. Tullo was offered several gifts worth over $10,000, including school supplies, and mattresses that he said would go to his grandmother, who supported his efforts to continue his education.

“Education is the surest means of higher mobility in the world,” said Mr. Jenkins. “This young man clearly understands that… what he wants most is to finish his education.”

according to Livingston College President Jimmy Jenkins, “We will be proud to have him among our students. He is a beacon of hope for his generation and his country.”

In addition to being awarded the scholarship, he has also been recognized by the Center for Transparency and Accountability of Liberia (CENTAL). He also received honors from Liberian President George Weah.

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