Student Profile: Armando Machado Jr. '18

Student Profile

Armando Machado Jr. '18

Armando Machado Jr. Photo by Michael Bueno

One piece of paper changed the course of Armando Machado Jr.'s undergraduate life. Originally from Washington state, Machado Jr. had never heard of Lasell College until he received a brochure in the mail among dozens of other institutional pamphlets. Today, his involvement on campus knows few bounds; from working at the campus radio station and writing for the student newspaper, to self-initiated global fundraisers and participation in a Shoulder to Shoulder trip to Ecuador - and that's just a sampling of what he's doing outside the classroom.

Let's start from the beginning. Where did your first few months on campus take you? I was really lucky. My required first-year seminar on activism was with Assistant Professor Karin Raye, one of the best people I've ever met. Our end-of-semester project was a coin jar fundraiser for UNICEF. I was majoring in journalism at the time, but after Professor Raye put me in charge of spreading the word about our efforts, it helped me realize through experience that I loved public relations. We raised $300 for UNICEF and their Boston office matched the gift. It showed me the impact that my work could have, and I changed my major to public relations after that.

Was that your favorite class? There are a few. I loved History of Human Rights with Associate Professor Denny Frey, and all of my Spanish courses with Associate Professor Jose Guzman. But, the thing about Professor Raye and her class is that she took time to point out the potential that we all had and reminded us of our ability to make a positive impact on the world. Every time I see her, I remember that feedback.

Given that, what do you think your impact has been at Lasell? The two things I care about most in the world are making connections with people and helping others. I'm proud that my work with the Environmental Club led to Lasell getting sustainable drinking fountains around campus. This past fall, I launched a fundraiser for hurricane relief in Florida and Texas that started with a $7 donation. The community got behind it, and our contributions ballooned to over $1,300. And, there's my time working with my best friend, Alex Moule '18, and former Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Foss.

You brought Adam Foss on campus to speak this past fall. Is that your favorite memory? It was one of the best things I've ever done. Foss talks about a social issue that everyone needs to be aware of - justice system reform - and being able to communicate that to more than 200 people was so rewarding. A lot of students asked us if we sought out Foss for a class project, but it had nothing to do with school work. It was just important to bring his voice to campus. Foss showed us that people can make a difference.

What's next for you? I'd like to work with a company that helps other people, perhaps PR or consulting with nonprofits. On my Shoulder to Shoulder trip to Ecuador, we met families whose lives depended on their work. One group made tiles and roof shingles from dirt using their furnace, and another family ran a dairy farm out of their home. It made me think about the advancements and technology we have in the U.S. We might think we are better off because of that, but I think all you need in life is a roof over your head and people to connect with.

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