College-bound Belair-Edison resident prepares for next stage of her life with Amazon scholarship

Destiny Ogar, a senior at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, won a $40,000 scholarship from Amazon Future Engineer, a competitive program that also provides an internship with the company after the completion of her freshman year.

Destiny Ogar has had her heart set on going to North Carolina A&T since visiting the school during a college tour back in seventh grade. But she knew financial concerns would prevent her from attending her dream college.

That all changed in March when the senior at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women learned that she won a $40,000 scholarship from Amazon Future Engineer, a competitive program that also provides an internship with the company after the completion of her freshman year. In all, 11 Marylanders were chosen to receive the scholarship out of the 250 picked nationally. Recipients were selected based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need, according to Amazon.


“I’m inspired by Destiny’s perseverance and achievements despite the disruptions in her life during the pandemic,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of Amazon’s philanthropic education initiatives. “Destiny exemplifies how access to computer science education helps enable the self-expression and problem-solving abilities of young people today.”

Ogar said she was “surprised” to receive the scholarship.


“It was a heartfelt moment for me. I cried. I was overcome with joy,” said Ogar, an 18-year-old Belair-Edison resident.

Ogar, the youngest of four children who hopes to become the first member of her immediate family to graduate from college, knew higher education was in her future.

Going to a historically Black college and university was also important.

“When I went on the college tours, I liked how they functioned and how the campus life was. There was some diversity among the campus. It felt like a welcoming place to me,” said Ogar, who will major in computer science.

Ogar also knew that to attend her dream school, she needed financial assistance.

“If I didn’t receive this scholarship, I wouldn’t be going there,” she said. “It would help us a lot financially.”

Ogar applied to 37 schools. She got into 32. And she received full rides to four of them: Xavier University in New Orleans, Coppin State University, Claflin University and Alabama A&M University. But she wanted to go to North Carolina A&T, according to her mother, Traci Ogar.

“She was so adamant about going to North Carolina A&T. Now she’s able to go there,” her mother said. “That was a blessing for her to get it.”


Ogar later found out she was accepted to the school’s honors program, As a result, she was awarded an additional $32,000 from the school, meaning she would graduate debt-free, according to her mother.

“Education definitely is important. I love to see the youth achieve their goals and to achieve their dreams. Her dad named her this for a reason,” she said.

Ogar’s drive, work ethic, and positive attitude set her apart from other students, according to Alyssia Green, director for college and career success at Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.

“Oftentime [youth] get a bad rep. You can have adult conversations with her. She’s a genuine girl who wants to enjoy life,” she said. “Destiny is self-motivated. She just does it.”

Ogar will enter college with 15 credits because of college-level courses she took in high school, according to Green.

“I haven’t seen another student like this. She has the skills that she needs to go,” Green said. “I wish I could have many more of her.”


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In addition to maintaining a 4.8 GPA, and working in several academic programs, Ogar spent most of 2020 caring for her mother, who was involved in an accident that left her with two broken wrists.

“I couldn’t do anything. She bathed me, fed me. She cooked, cleaned. She had to get up earlier for school,” said her mother, a corrections officer who was out of work almost six months because of the car accident. “I couldn’t even brush my teeth. She took on two other jobs virtually. She was able to do all of that and still take care of me.”

Despite the disruption, Ogar’s grades never dipped. Virtual learning was actually a blessing in that she was able to assist at home with her mother while she went to school. In fact, she thinks the additional stress made her focus more.

“Stuff like that motivated me more,” she said. “Since my grades didn’t go down, her accident didn’t make anything worse as far as education.”

Ogar doesn’t take her education and future lightly. She knows the importance of her personal success.

“It feels great to be a young Black woman in STEM,” she said. “A lot of young Black people don’t have a lot of people in their field to look up to. I want to be part of that small percentage of African American women in STEM and be a trailblazer for other young women like myself.”


This article is part of our Newsmaker series, which profiles notable people in the Baltimore region who are having an impact in our diverse communities. If you’d like to suggest someone who should be profiled, please send their name and a short description of what they are doing to make a difference to: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Editor Kamau High at