A campus vigil for Amayah Charles, a sophomore nursing student at Notre Dame of Maryland University, will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the school’s University Academic Building, 4701 N. Charles St.
A prayer service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Mercy High School, Northern Parkway and Loch Raven Boulevard.
Ms. Charles, who was 19, died early Monday in a car accident on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
A 2018 graduate of Mercy High School, she had plans to become a labor and delivery nurse.
“The students, staff and faculty at Mercy are devastated and heartbroken,” said Mary Beth Lennon, the Mercy president. “I knew her well. Amayah exemplified the Mercy values of compassion, generosity and respect. She was an extrovert who consistently reached out to girls who needed a word of encouragement."
Ms. Lennon also said, "Amayah was a devoted daughter who also took care of her siblings."
Born in Baltimore and raised in the Catonsville area, she was the daughter of Allison Makell and David Charles. She attended middle school at KIPP Ujima Village Academy before entering Mercy.
This past summer Ms. Charles returned to a KIPP program housed at the University of Baltimore where she was an alumni coach in the Countdown to College Program. She mentored students who would soon be high school seniors.
“She was full of life and was driven and passionate. She was a natural leader,” said Rita Bradunas, a KIPP staff member in the KIPP Through College program. “She always had a wide smile. She was ambitious and caring and kind. She brought so much to anything she undertook.”
A KIPP statement said: “Amayah received college acceptances from over ten institutions, and ultimately selected to attend Notre Dame of Maryland University. Amayah has touched the lives of so many of us, our students, and our alums — and she will always remain part of our Team and Family.”
Ms. Charles became one of Mercy’s best-known students. She also participated in fashion shows at area charities and social organizations.
“She was an academically talented student with exceptional personal qualities," Ms. Lennon said.
Ms. Charles was president of her junior class at Mercy and was chapter secretary of the National Honor Society. She belonged to the school’s steering and prom committees and the activities council, the International Club, the Social Justice Society and the environmental club, and was a four-year member of the Madrigals.
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“She had a beautiful voice and was a leader in our field day activities,” Ms. Lennon said.
Ms. Charles went on to Notre Dame and was a nursing volunteer at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center’s labor and delivery unit.
She was a member of Fountain Baptist Church where she had been taken by her grandmother, Gretchen Makell, as a child.
“She will be greatly missed by all of us,” Notre Dame’s president, Marylou Yam, said in a statement.
In addition to her parents, survivors include three brothers, David Charles Jr., Ali Charles and Auston Askew; a sister, Ava Askew; her grandmother, Cheryl Charles, all of Baltimore; and her grandfather, David Charles of Trinidad.