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Scholarship fund honoring Destiny Harrison, the 21-year-old killed in her Baltimore beauty shop, raises over $51,000

The sign for Madame D Beauty Bar, at the southeast corner of N. Milton Avenue and Orleans Street in McElderry Park, where salon owner Destiny Harrison was fatally shot on Dec. 21.
The sign for Madame D Beauty Bar, at the southeast corner of N. Milton Avenue and Orleans Street in McElderry Park, where salon owner Destiny Harrison was fatally shot on Dec. 21. (Amy Davis)

A scholarship fund created in honor of Destiny Harrison, the 21-year-old mother who was gunned down in her McElderry Park beauty salon, has raised over $51,000.

Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen, along with Healing City Baltimore, a local grassroots organization, announced the feat Sunday afternoon at a news conference outside Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, where Harrison graduated in 2016, in East Baltimore with recipients of the Destiny’s Dream Scholarship fund.

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When the scholarship fund was announced in February, Cohen said he hoped to raise $5,000*, which would help students pay fees and expenses at Mervo’s cosmetology program.

Harrison’s mother, Racquel Harrison, said she felt great to hear the scholarship fund raised so much money and hoped it would ultimately help create more black-owned businesses, like Destiny’s.

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Racquel sad Destiny would often mentor girls interested in the craft and would donate tools and products to young people who didn’t have them.

“It’s definitely something that she would have done on her own anyway,” Racquel said in a phone interview.

Harrison was working at the Madame D Beauty Bar hair salon on the 200 block of N. Milton Ave. in East Baltimore when someone robbed her and shot her on Dec. 21. The young woman’s violent death caught the attention of people like professional boxer and Baltimore native Gervonta Davis who offered to help pay for her funeral services.

Cohen, speaking Sunday, called the moment “bittersweet,” saying, “It shouldn’t take the murder of a black woman in front of her baby to create a scholarship so that children can pursue a trade.”

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A vigil is held for Destiny Harrison outside of the beauty salon that she owned.

Cohen also mentioned George Floyd, the black man whose death while in police custody has sparked protests across the country, saying the moment marked the opportunity for “true transformative change” in not only Baltimore, but the United States.

“This money will have an enormously positive impact on the lives of our children,” Cohen said. “This is what Healing City stands.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Phillip Jackson contributed to this article.

*This article has been updated. An earlier version said Cohen hoped to raise $20,000.

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