CSM Newsroom

CSM Alum Destiny Morgan Establishes ‘Kuinua Together’ Scholarship to Uplift Future Tech Leaders

December 13, 2023

destiny-morgan-newsroom.jpgWhen Destiny Morgan ’15, of La Plata, was looking for a flexible, affordable option for continuing her education, she turned to College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and received all the support she needed, and more. Now the IT business owner is paying it forward to other CSM students who may need financial assistance by offering her newly-established Kuinua Together scholarship.

Morgan explained that “kuinua” is a Swahili word that means “elevate,” and that is exactly what her scholarship aims to do: elevate students, particularly students of color, who may have not otherwise been able to access a tech career. The scholarship was established last spring and handed out its first awards this fall.

“As an African American, I think a lot about how hard people fought for my ability to go to school,” Morgan said. “My mother is my biggest inspiration, and she taught me that each generation needs to be better than the last. I’ve established a scholarship at every school I’ve ever attended because I wanted to make it more accessible for students of color to get into technology. Technology is a space where many people do not look like me, and I hope to show others that they can do it, too.”

After earning an associate degree in General Studies at CSM, Morgan joined the military, then completed her undergraduate degree in Communications at University of Maryland Global Campus. Earlier this year, she earned a master’s degree in Management and Leadership with a focus on IT from Western Governors University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Artificial Intelligence at Capitol Technology University while living in La Plata and running her own IT company, Kuinua Tech, with her two canine co-workers, Inferno and Azula, by her side.

Morgan said she was inspired to start her own company to provide men and women of color interested in IT with opportunities in the field and find ways to give back to the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kuinua Tech was able to distribute laptops to students in need in Maryland and New York.  

The inaugural recipient of the Kuinua Together scholarship, Monique Reed, said that her “hopes have grown brighter” as a result of the scholarship.  Reed, whose goal is to work for NASA, recently completed a summer internship with the NSA working on artificial intelligence and has gained two IT certifications with plans for more. In 2022, Reed was also recognized as one of the top 50 student hackers in the world.  

“CSM allowed me to be part of the selection process for the scholarship, and it was meaningful to get the chance to read the applications and see who would benefit the most,” Morgan said. “I definitely saw myself in the student we picked, who was going through a tough time and needed a break.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must possess and maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, be pursuing an associate degree in information systems, computer science, or cybersecurity and information technology; and be an underrepresented minority in their field of study.

"The Kuinua Together scholarship beautifully links the past, present, and future of success for CSM students while providing meaningful support for students who are underrepresented in their fields and facing challenges reaching their goals,” said Toni Kruszka '11, acting executive director of the CSM Foundation. “We are proud to have Destiny as an alum and a partner in providing a pathway for student achievement.”

The Kuinua Together scholarship is managed by the CSM Foundation. Over the past five years, the Foundation has awarded an average of over 600 scholarships a year for a total of more than $4 million. Donors can start their own scholarship fund with as little as $1,000 or donate to one of the dozens of established scholarships, including Kuinua Together, at https://www.csmd.edu/foundation/give/index.html..

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