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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Student Profile: Daphnie Armand

The UMass Boston student body defies tradition. Many UMB students consider this to be one of the university’s greatest qualities. Daphnie Armand definitely does not fit into the stereotypical college student mold. On an average day, Armand, like many of her UMB peers, struggles to keep up with her five classes and goes to work. Armand was born in Haiti and moved to the United States 20 years ago when she was 7. She began school at UMB as a part time student in 2000. When her father passed away, she withdrew from her classes and returned to Haiti. When Armand arrived back in Boston, she began school as a full time student. When Armand leaves school and work behind, this mother of, picks up her daughter, 6 year old Tatiana, from first grade and brings her back to their Milton home and begins an evening of school work-many times not even her own! Armand describes an average day outside of UMB: “outside of school time, I’m bringing Tatiana to soccer, baseball, and dance. She also does piano, and she’s about to start basketball. I keep her busy.” “It’s a lot to juggle,” states Armand, “but if you don’t have focus and determination to make it, it’s very, very hard.” Armand is an active student on campus. She has been the coordinator of the ARMS Center for two years acting as a resource for low-income UMB students, and running workshops to keep the student body abreast about welfare issues. “I was fascinated that UMB had a resource for people that are struggling,” stated Armand when asked what drew her to the center. “It’s especially important for women who have families and are on their own trying to get a better education. They need a support system.” Armand’s own experiences can testify to the importance of a place like the ARMS Center. “It’s just the two of us,” revealed Armand. “My goal as ARMS Center coordinator is to tell people here about welfare and food stamps.” What drives Armand further is that she feels “people don’t even know about the resources that are available. That’s why I have so many events at the ARMS Center.” In reference to welfare services, Armand believes that “although my goal here is to tell people about welfare, I see this as a stepping stone. I think education is the way out of poverty-I strongly believe that.” Nevertheless, Armand added, “welfare and food stamps do help. I am a prime example of that.” Because the UMB student body is so diverse, Armand notes that the academic life here is fairly conducive to parenthood. However, she added, “It takes a lot. It is not easy.” “My daughter is the main reason that I exist really. I am just trying to continue to pursue to get something higher because I am trying to give her better than what I’ve had.” Despite the demanding schedule Armand keeps a positive attitude about life. “We live in a two family. Tatiana has her own bedroom and a backyard. She has it really nice, so I really can’t complain much.” Throughout the interview, Armand spoke of the support system available to her. “One of the reasons why I am so determined is because I’m not by myself. I have a great support system. That helps a lot, when you have good people.” When asked if she got any sleep, Armand chuckled. “I’ve learned to adapt,” she said. “As long as I have five hours of sleep. Five hours is enough for me.” Five years from now, Armand hopes to put her Business Management degree to work “to help third world countries-especially Haiti. So many people complain about the world, but nobody does anything about it. My goal is to get an organization that has the mission of helping people.” Armand would like to tell her fellow UMB students “to do their best to try and succeed at what you do, especially if you don’t have children. It is so much easier if you don’t have to worry about children.” After a pause, she added, “it doesn’t mean that if you do have them it should limit you in any way because it does not. It just makes it tougher. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.”