Vasy Jean Francois

Vasty Jean-Francois

UWC attended: United World College East Africa - Arusha Campus
Class Year: Class of 2025

Salut! My name is Vasty Jean-Francois (I know my last can be difficult to pronounce, but don’t worry, you will get it right one day). I was born and raised in a small seacoast town in northwestern Haiti where I get to live in the beauty of the blue and cloudy sky and the sea in the distance. When I turned 12, my family moved to the capital city, Port-au-Prince. I went to a Catholic school where I learned Latin and un poco Spanish. From there, I applied to UWC via my National committee and attended United World College East Africa in Tanzania Arusha. Arusha is what I describe as a nature town where you feel connected to those beautiful landscapes full of trees with the most beautiful sunsets, and the safaris that you get to experience in the surroundings.

The values acquired during my time at UWCEA are those that I will carry for the rest of my life. It’s hard to say what I enjoy the most about my experience in such a wonderful place as Arusha. My experience at United World College East Africa is the small things that we shared when we tried to build this community. I remember all the moments with my friends covered with dust in our faces when we were planting those trees around the Boma (our boarding house), but that would surprise you to know how much I enjoyed it because it taught me the sense of togetherness, and what we can build when we are with people who are willing to make sacrifices to keep things going.

I can’t talk about my experiences without mentioning the Fridays spent with my roommates cleaning our room. Those days allowed me to perceive this unique aspect of my community. UWCEA is that community that makes you forget the notion of time when you are talking with your roommates, your friends, your teachers, etc. This small campus at the foot of Mount Meru where you always hear someone say “Pole” to say sorry and”Asante” to say thank you.

It’s where you decide to go to dinner but stop at the Volleyball Court to play until you remember that you’re hungry.

It’s going to Sable Square after school because on the road you’ll have a conversation with your friends.

It’s an evening when you have a “cultural night” about Iraq and Kurdistan but more than half the students got sick the following day because of the food.

It’s being aware of our responsibilities to contribute to building this community, despite the various challenges we encountered on the course.

It’s waking up every Friday at 5 am to jump into the freezing water of the swimming pool that makes you feel like your heart stopped beating before you went to school.

It’s running around the halls when you’re late for registration when it’s 7:50.

It is debating about the impact of religion in different cultures and societies.

It’s going to Plaster House and playing with the kids with correctable disability and making a change in this community.

There are too many experiences to talk about.

One morning after reading an email from our counselor, I went through the Davis partners list. Maybe it was a coincidence or just by luck when my eyes read Lewis & Clark on the list. So I did some more research and registered for a zoom session. In this session, I learned a lot about L&C and imagined myself being a student there and taking advantage of all the learning opportunities available. I have also realized how similar L&C’s values are to those of UWC.

I considered Lewis & Clark College because I believe I will find the tools and the support there to help me progress in many aspects of my life besides academic expectations. One catchy thing about L&C was the academic programs and study abroad program. These factors pushed L&C up into my top choices.

In today’s world, international concerns and environmental issues impact almost every area of our life. If there is something we need to solve them, it is to create a more interconnected world where we can together better understand them, and find innovative solutions to bring change in this world. I want to pursue a double major at L&C in International affairs and Environmental Studies because I want to give something back to my community and prepare for careers that fit with what the world needs more in the future.

Growing up as a young Haitian, it was not easy to go to school because there were protests almost every month caused by the population. The way they respond to each government fascinated me, and it made me curious to know why they behave in such a way. These same problems have led me to reflect on the social-political problems of my country and expand them on an international framework by making a comparison with many other countries, starting with my neighboring country, the Dominican Republic. By joining the journalism club at school, I debated the nature of these issues and gained a deeper understanding of them.

Haiti is a country whose environmental problems are the least concern of the people. However, I believe that all of this can change through education with people willing to share their experience and their expertise in this domain.

In the future, I want to work with the government of my country to improve the life of the country’s citizens, reinforce the diplomatic relations with other countries, and of course to help the population understand the environmental threat that we are facing today and take sustainable initiatives to protect the environment.

I consider myself as someone who plays a lot of sports (Soccer, Handball, Tennis, Touch-rugby, and athletics, etc.), but that doesn’t stop me from reading my Science-Fiction books and French novels, playing connect 4, and learning new languages. Besides that, I like doing arts because it helps me materialize my ideas and put my imagination into work.

I have an adventurous spirit and I am a risk-taker. Some of my academic interests include: Politics, Earth and Environmental science, Languages, Arts and Religion. I haven’t traveled that much. I have only been in Tanzania where I attended UWCEA

I look forward to start coming up with some solutions to put in place some more sustainable responses to the environmental issues that we are facing today and get better in the 100 meters.