Liberian teen found and returned $50,000; now he has a Livingstone scholarship offer


Livingstone College will offer a full scholarship to a Liberian teen who found $50,000 and returned the money to its rightful owner.

Emmanuel Tuloe, 18, made international headlines earlier this month when news broke of his deeds.

According to media reports, Tuloe, who dropped out of school to support his family by driving a motorcycle taxi, was working one day when he found the money wrapped in plastic. He took the cash to an aunt’s house for safekeeping, hoping to locate the owner.

Later that day, a tearful businesswoman went on the radio to announce that she had lost the money and pleaded for its return. Tuloe heard the broadcast and contacted the radio station.

In a meeting with the country’s president, George Weah, who gave the teen one the nation’s highest awards. Luloe expressed a desire to complete his education.

Emmanuel Tuloe (right) meets with Liberian President George Weah. (YouTube screenshot)

That’s where Livingstone College comes in.

The historically Black college in Salisbury has a longstanding history with Liberia through its founding denomination, the A.M.E. Zion Church, and through its collaboration with the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont (LOP), based in Winston-Salem.

Livingstone currently sponsors two Liberian students every four years through its partnership with the LOP. The college also supports A.M.E. Zion University in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, as its international sister college.

When James Hunder, who chairs the LOP board, read about the teen’s honesty, he reached out to Livingstone President Jimmy Jinkens with the idea of offering the scholarship.

“It’s the perfect complement to the work Livingstone is already doing in Liberia,” Hunder said in a statement released by the university.

While the teen has been showered with widespread praise for his honesty, he also has been ridiculed, with some of his friends telling him he would die poor, according to media reports.

As a reward for his honesty, the owner of the money presented Tuloe with cash and materials worth about $1,500, according to those media reports. Among his gifts was a mattress, which Tuloe said he would give to his grandmother.

Liberia, where 52% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day, is one of the poorest nations on Earth. (The World Bank set $1.90 a day as the international poverty line.) In addition, in 30.5% of Liberian homes, no adult has completed primary education, according to the World Bank.

On Wednesday,  Liberian Ambassador to the United States George S.W. Patten is scheduled to visit Livingstone to thank the school for the scholarship offer.

Jenkins, the Livingstone president, described Tuloe as “a beacon of hope for his generation and for his country.”

“Education is the surest vehicle for upward mobility in the world,” Jenkins said via the university. “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…We would be proud to have him among our student population.”


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