2017 UWI Open Campus valedictorian, Vincentian Nick Francis.

Vincentian Nick Francis is the proud Valedictorian of the UWI Open Campus Class of 2017.

A hardworking, focused young man from humble beginnings, Francis’ natural leadership abilities found expression from an early age, in several youth groups within his school, church, and community.

Indeed, it was his passion for youth work that brought Francis to the virtual halls of the University of the West Indies Open Campus in 2012, after having successfully completed an OAS certification in “Building Capacities of Young Political Leaders in the Caribbean” in the previous year.

There he became one of the first students to register in the newly introduced Bachelor of Science in youth development work programme.

During his years at the Open Campus, Francis, who was born in Jamaica, was actively involved in the Guild of Students in various capacities.

He served as Guild Chapter Chair for the Open Campus St. Vincent site from 2015-2017, as Vice President of Special Projects and Fundraising on the Regional Guild Executive 2015/2016, and as Chair of the Constitution Review Committee on the Regional Guild Council for the 2016/2017 academic term.

A youth advocate and activist, Francis also served as President of the Young Democrats — the youth arm of the New Democratic Party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines — from 2009 to early 2017.

Over the years, participation in these activities has allowed Francis to be an excellent role model for other young people and to champion their cause for equal rights and participation in decision-making processes.

Francis currently serves as a Youth Development Consultant within the Caribbean Democrat Union, a sister party network supported by The Westminster Foundation for Democracy. He fervently believes that youth are assets to national development and works ardently to create a space for them to thrive in Caribbean societies.

Ever humble, Francis credits his success in life to a strong spiritual foundation, good parenting and the unconditional love of family and friends. After many years of hard work and perseverance, Francis graduates with a 4.23 grade point average that has earned him First Class Honours in the BSc youth development work along with the coveted role of class valedictorian.

The UWI Open Campus congratulates Francis on this stellar achievement and looks forward to his delivery of the 2017 valedictory address at the upcoming graduation ceremony to be held in Grenada, tomorrow, Saturday, 14.