Coordinator of the Month: Armaria Arnett
Name: Armaria Arnett
Hometown: Oakland, CA
College Attended / Major: UC Berkeley/ American Studies and Creative Writing
HealthCorps School Placement: Hayward High School
Fun Fact: I am allergic to dairy products, eggs, seafood and nuts. …and due to my food allergies, I have NEVER consumed a candy bar. However, I LOVE to eat, cook and modify traditional recipes to suit my dietary needs.
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Armaria Arnett: I learned about HealthCorps through my fellow Health Career Connection peer and former HealthCorps Coordinator, Kelly Leech. At the time, I was in a transition from considering a career in medicine to one in public health. I wanted to work with underserved communities to help find realistic and applicable health solutions. When it comes to health, a generic “one-size-fits-all” solution is not feasible, you must meet people where they are and provide them with the support and resources necessary for them to grow from there. …and that is what I have found in HealthCorps.
JH : What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
AA: On January 15, 2014, 22 students participated in MLK Day of Service by volunteering on their day off from school to help revitalize their school’s fruit and vegetable patch known as the Farmers Garden. Students picked up litter, pulled weeds, turned soil and cleared garden beds to prepare for seeds to be sown. Little known fact about the Farmers Garden is that it has not had much attention since the Garden and Ecology Center discontinued their program at Hayward High around 2010. The word around the school is that the school district wanted to bulldoze the Farmers Garden because it was nothing but a jungle of wild weeds. However, the big student turn out from MLK Day of Service showed that students very interested in reviving the Farmers Garden and took pride in their work. Ever since that day, more and more students have been showing up to our Garden days!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
AA: Outside of the classroom, I do a lot of work with my students to revive the Farmers Garden and I also make sure our teachers stay relaxed with complementary and periodic staff wellness massages.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
AA: After completing my service with HealthCorps, I will obtain a Master of Science in Nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. As I will continue serving underserved populations and assisting them with finding applicable health solutions for their life.
JH: What is one thing you have learned from your placement that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?
AA: It is important to stay true to your passion and your purpose in life because those key elements will keep you going when times get tough. Being a HealthCorps Leader is not easy but the experience is rewarding. I enjoy tackling the challenges that come with empowering students and their communities to lead healthier lives. We are all on this trail of health together and it does matter where you start, just be willing to keep moving forward!
We want to thank Armaria Arnett for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.