Berklee College of Music

San Diego Teenager Awarded Scholarship to Prestigious Music School

Destiny Parker overcame a difficult upbringing to take another step towards success

NBC Universal, Inc.

You get the feeling that Destiny Parker is just warming up.

Parker has a golden voice that shouldn’t belong to a 17-year-old.

“She’ll surprise you with softness,” said Roxane Carrasco. “She’ll also surprise you with the most fierceness.”

Carrasco is one of Parker’s instructors at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in Paradise Hills, where Parker is a senior carrying a 4.3 GPA.

Simply listening to her warmup to sing for an NBC 7 camera elicits chills.

“I feel it’s a way for me to feel free and escape from tough days, but I also love doing it for fun,” said Parker.

Life just got a lot more fun.

Parker was accepted to the highly selective Berklee College of Music in Boston and given a full-tuition scholarship for $184,000.

“I screamed and then I screamed to my family, ‘Oh my God! Destiny! Destiny got into Berklee!’” exclaimed Carrasco.

“I didn’t expect any of this,” smiled Parker, who also still appeared overwhelmed by the honor.

Parker said Berklee only awarded eight scholarships out of almost 7,000 applicants. She hoped the education will help her achieve her goal of becoming a recording artist and an actress.

Parker would follow the lead of another San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts student: Andra Day. Day was recently nominated for an Academy Award and took home a Golden Globe for her lead acting role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

“I just want to do as much as I can to reach my full potential,” said Parker.

That potential could have been easily derailed at any point in her life.

“She has survived quite a bit; she and her mother,” said Carrasco.

Parker was born in Bulgaria. Her family moved to the United States when Parker was still young. However, her father abandoned he family. Parker, her mother, and Parker’s little brother lived in a shelter at one point until the single mom put the family on her back.

“She’s just so strong. We went through a lot together,” sighed Parker. “Everything that has happened this past year and all throughout my life is because of her.”

Parker still has work to do. The Berklee scholarship only covers tuition. She’s said she is applying for grants and other scholarships to cover room and board.

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