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EOC Works in Vermont. Meet Jamira Armah: On the path to becoming an RN

Written by
Sabina Haskell

November 17, 2020


Jamira Armah

Jamira Armah was able to come to the United States from Ghana through a Visa lottery.

She first settled in New York City, where she trained as a certified nursing assistant. She moved to Vermont in 1999 for a relationship and met with the Educational Opportunity Center program counselor for the first time at the Vermont Department of Labor in Burlington in 2000.

Jamira was seeking employment as a CNA but was also interested in becoming a nurse. The EOC counselor’s mother had lived at an elder care facility, Pillsbury Manor, for 12 years prior to her death in January 2000.

She made a call to the nurse manager at the facility and arranged for Jamira to interview for a CNA position. Jamira was hired and now is the day charge nurse at the Gazebo, originally Pillsbury Manor North, having enjoyed 20 years of employment there.

Jamira began taking classes at Community College of Vermont once she had lived in state for a year. She applied to, and was accepted to, the practical nursing program at Vermont Technical College, soon after the college took over the program from Fanny Allen Hospital in Colchester.

In fact, VTC was still conducting the program at the Fanny Allen campus when Jamira attended. As soon as she earned her license, she advanced from a CNA to an LPN position. Jamira is interested in earning her RN and has returned to CCV to take related classes.

However, she’s now a single parent with two daughters in college and two at home, and finding herself unable to interrupt her full-time employment to return to school.

Jamira has brought her daughters to meet with the EOC counselor, beginning a second generation of assistance. Zanata Sulley is beginning her junior year at Northeastern University and has been pictured along with her mother on VSAC publications. Both attended VSAC Day at the Vermont Legislature several years ago.

Vania Sulley is a sophomore at Northeastern this fall, after transferring from Providence College. Raphaela is a sophomore at South Burlington High School, and Emmanuela will be a sixth-grader at the middle school. The daughters are Curtis fund scholars. Jamira’s mother also lives with the family. We trust the RN program is still in her future!

Educational Opportunity Center: 30 years helping Vermont adults achieve success

Ready to take the next step in your career? Considering a class, certification, career training, or college program? Whether you’re starting for the first time, returning to school after a gap, or are an avid lifelong learner, VSAC is here to help. The Educational Opportunity Center program at VSAC serves adults who do not yet have a 4-year degree. Most adults served through EOC are the first in their families to go to college and have financial barriers to pursuing their goals beyond high school. VSAC EOC counselors throughout the state help with career exploration, education and training options, and financial aid applications.

Our EOC counselors can help you:

Ready to access these services and more? Contact a VSAC EOC team member by calling 877-961-4369. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay in touch. We’re here for you.