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Amazon Fuels Tech Dreams: City Charter High School Student Awarded up to $40,000 College Scholarship to Pursue Computer Science, Engineering

Amazon Fuels Tech Dreams: City Charter High School Student Awarded up to $40,000 College Scholarship to Pursue Computer Science, Engineering

Destiny Downer is among 400 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipients to receive an up to $40,000 scholarship to study computer science or engineering starting this fall, a potential paid internship at Amazon after their freshman year of college, and more

Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career STEM education initiative designed to inspire and educate millions of students each year from underrepresented and historically underserved communities to build life-changing skills that leverage computer science and coding to bring their dreams to life 

Destiny Downer, a City High senior, has been named an Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipient and will receive up to $40,000 to pursue computer science, engineering or related degrees at the college or university of their choice. She is one of 8 across the state and 400 nationwide to receive the award this year, along with a paid internship offer at Amazon after her freshman year of college. Destiny is the only winner from Pittsburgh!

The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship gives eligible scholars the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical work experience with mentorship from Amazon leaders. Through Amazon Future Engineer, the company’s global philanthropic education initiative, each student will also receive skills development and mental health resources, access to an emergency grant fund for unexpected financial obligations that might prevent them from attending school, and networking opportunities with their peers and Amazon employees.

Recipients were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need. Amazon partnered with Scholarship America to review the applications and select the 400 scholars.

“Our scholarship recipients' unwavering dedication to academic excellence and their passion for leveraging technology to uplift communities is truly inspiring,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of education philanthropy at Amazon. “By investing in computer science education for students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities, we're not only empowering them to pursue rewarding careers but also equipping them with skills to drive innovation that will shape a more equitable and sustainable future for generations to come.”

At City High, Destiny was selected early on to be a member of the student technology team. She also became active with the robotics team and other technology initiatives. She took the lead on helping with the implementation of a new programming curriculum using BirdBrain materials,  which are robots that bring computer science to life by engaging students with a hands-on representation of their code.  Additionally, Destiny has attended several events with BotsIQ, a  local robotics manufacturing competition, and is the City High team’s go to representative for learning the technology hardware and software needed for building the robot.   

“Destiny has been resilient and has overcome a lot during the last few years of  navigating COVID, virtual school, hybrid school, and now in person,” says  Information Literacy teacher and Robotics coach Deborah Domingues-Murphy. “Throughout that time, she has maintained the highest grades, participated in a variety of robotics and engineering programs, and done extremely well in all these initiatives.” 

Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s global philanthropic computer science education initiative, aims to increase student access to computer science education. The program funds high-quality STEM curriculum and educator professional learning to help school districts implement sustainable K–12 computer science initiatives. As part of this effort, Amazon funds the development of customized curriculum that accounts for the unique cultural perspectives, interests, and experiences of BLNA students. In addition to the Scholarship program, Amazon Future Engineer offers virtual career tours and project-based learning modules that bring role models to classrooms to help students explore careers of the future through real-world experiences.

Amazon launched the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program in 2019, awarding hundreds of students annually with up to $40,000 over four years to pursue an undergraduate science or engineering degree. Amazon Future Engineer has committed $54 million in scholarships to 1,350 students from underserved and historically underrepresented communities across the U.S. since the program’s inception.

Congratulations, Destiny!