First Literacy Scholar: Damus


Damus came to Boston eight years ago when the United States welcomed victims of Haiti’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2010. She stayed with friends, found work housekeeping, and ate turkey sandwiches morning, noon, and night to save for her own home. She studied English at the Cambridge Community Learning Center and in two years progressed from housekeeper to waitress to Certified Nursing Assistant. With the support of First Literacy and her family Damus set out to achieve her dream of becoming a registered nurse, continuing her studies in the RN-BSN program at UMass Boston. Unfortunately, soon after her journey began, she encountered many challenges and traumas. Her brother was murdered in Haiti and her mother and aunt had a stroke. She also lost three family members in the span of four months. Despite some extremely challenging times, Damus was committed to her education and her passion of becoming a nurse. Over the span of four years, she completed her courses and achieved her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. On May 27, 2022, Damus received her diploma from UMass Boston – proof that her determination, positive attitude, and hard work paid off. Damus is currently a registered nurse working in the emergency room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Forever ambitious and full of energy, Damus hopes to one day take her dream one step further and become a nurse practitioner.

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