After finding a lost satchel with $50,000 tucked inside, this Liberian teen did what some would not—he returned the funds. His honest gesture caught the attention of an HBCU in North Carolina and now he’s been offered a scholarship to attend the college.
Emmanuel Tuloe, 18, was working as a motorcycle taxi driver in northeastern Nimba County when he saw a bunch of money wrapped in a plastic bag on the road. The bag held $50,000 in U.S. cash and $100,000 in Liberian currency, WBTV reported.
The teenager took the funds home and gave it to his aunt to keep safe until he found out who it belonged to. Later that day, a businesswoman named Musu Yancy went on the radio and shared that she’d lost the money. Emmanuel then took the funds to her.
Emmanuel later told WBTV in an interview that he was criticized by his peers for his decision. They told him he’d never get rich in his lifetime and he’d die poor.
President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah, didn’t feel the same. Following his noble act, President Weah met with Emmanual on Oct. 18 and told him he’d present him with one of the country’s highest Orders of Distinction in a future ceremony.
Emmanuel, who dropped out of school in the seventh grade to help his family make money as a motorcycle taxi driver, told the president that he wanted to finish his education. He also requested that President Weah encourage other young people—many of which also drop out of school to help their families financially—to leave the taxi business and finish school.
President Weah and his family personally offered Emmanuel a scholarship to attend any school of his choice in Libera, up to a master’s level. The president also gave him $100,000 USD and two new motorcycles.
But his blessings didn’t stop there.
Livingstone College, a historically Black college in Salisbury, N.C., got wind of his good deed and offered him a full scholarship upon his completion of high school. The college has long been connected with Liberia through its founding denomination, the A.M.E. Zion Church, and its collaboration with the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont (LOP), based in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Every four years, Livingstone sponsors two Liberian students through its partnership with LOP.
“Education is the surest vehicle for upward mobility in the world,” Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. said.
“This young man clearly understands that. He could have asked for anything from his country’s president, but what he wanted most was to finish his education. He is a beacon of hope for his generation and for his country. We would be proud to have him among our student population.”
The businesswoman whom Emmanuel returned the lost funds to presented him with cash and materials valued at $1,500—including a mattress, which he said he’d give to his grandmother.