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DHC Congratulates Former Bungalows’ Resident, Jarmel Baxter, for Earning PhD

by | Aug 1, 2023

Jarmel Baxter, PhD and John Woods

​On Wednesday, July 26, a young man who grew up in Davidson defended his PhD dissertation at Fayetteville State University. Jarmel Baxter, 36 years old, invited his old friend and mentor, John Woods, to be a guest by Zoom of this defense, the final step in completing his doctorate.

Woods said, “I have long had a positive relationship with Jarmel, since he was in grade school and had moved into The Bungalows with his grandmother, Martha Baxter, and his brother. Jarmel is one in a million, and with the support of his loving grandmother and a caring community, he was able to pursue his dreams of attending college and playing basketball.”

Jarmel discovered that in addition to his basketball skills, he was an excellent student. He received a master’s degree in social work, while managing the school’s intramural program. His professors then encouraged him to go to the next educational level and pursue a PhD in the same subject.

Martha Baxter

Jarmel’s grandmother was one of the very first residents at The Bungalows. She moved into Lakeside Apartments in 1979 and became worried when those units would no longer be protected as affordable. She moved to The Bungalows in the fall of 2000. As one of the earliest residents, she was thrilled with her apartment, commenting that it even had a washer and dryer and a garbage disposal. She watched every day as they were being built and was able to pick her three-bedroom apartment, a corner unit.

Her Bungalows apartment had just enough room for her, Jarmel, and his younger brother, Philip. She took pride in their home, and she had a breakfront filled with their trophies and awards. She organized a summer festival for the neighborhood shortly after she moved. She created an event that had food, drinks, entertainment, music, and fellowship. Every child who lived in her community was under her watchful eye.

In addition to her seven children, three other grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, the apples of her eyes were those two fine grandsons. She was quick to say that she wanted them to grow into good men who valued education and had productive lives. She wanted them to know that she would always be there for them, to listen to them, and have patience with them. Her philosophy was to tell them every day that they should learn well in school, that she loved them, and that they should not forget to pray.

That love and patience is reflected in her family.

Said Woods, “I can’t express what an honor and thrill it was to see Jarmel become Dr. Baxter. Everyone who has contact with him is immediately captured by his positive attitude and enthusiasm. He is a role model and mentor already for young men and women who need to see what endurance, kindness, and hard work can mean for them.”

The Baxter family, some of The Bungalows’ first residents, did themselves and their community proud. Congratulations, Jarmel! Don’t forget to visit us in Davidson. We would like to tell you in person how happy we are to have you doing that good work that your grandmother instilled in you.

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