Years to come, the name Tajay Francis is likely to be acclaimed both locally and internationally.
The 20-year-old, who continues to make and ride waves as a youth leader, has his eyes fixed on one day becoming Secretary General of the powerful United Nations (UN).
Setting the foundation for that dream, Francis has been participating in various model UN conferences that target young people. He travelled to the United States to participate in one of them last year.
He told The Beacon that he, last year, became the first Jamaican to be elected chairperson of a committee at a conference of the World Federation of United Nations Associations International Model United Nations.
Francis also was founding president of the United Nations Club at his alma mater – Old Harbour High School in St. Catherine.
“I want young people to be inspired by my life and my story and to know that they are more than enough,” said Francis, who originally is from Kitson Town in St. Catherine.
He attended Bendon Basic School as well as Kitson Town Primary. At 12 years old, he relocated to Spanish Town and enrolled at Spanish Town High School where he served as deputy head boy.
Francis said his years at Spanish Town High were the ‘foundation-builder’ for the person he is today, adding that it is an ‘amazing school’.
He graduated from there in 2018, and enrolled in the sixth form programme at Old Harbour High.
From 2019 to 2020, Francis served as General Secretary of the National Secondary Students Council, which now represents students from 165 secondary schools across the island.
He currently is also the youngest person serving on the National Council on Education (NCE), which was established by the Jamaican parliament. It is aimed at, among other things, facilitating greater community involvement in the management of educational institutions.
When he was 16 years old, Francis founded the Tajay Francis Hope Foundation to help people in need.
“I have an interest in leadership because I believe, if you want to see the change, you can’t sit and wait for it. People should be the change they want to see,” said the youth leader, who is inspired by human rights activist Malcolm X and the multi-talented Oprah Winfrey.
Francis The Beacon that he has struggled with classism in Jamaica.
He is an aspiring millionaire who is pursuing a degree in business administration at the University of Technology. However, he has taken a break from studying and is now employed on the technical support staff at a business process outsourcing company in New Kingston.
Francis, in the meantime, encourages young people: “Never ask permission to lead and impact change; understand that you are enough. Life has its ups and downs but know that, at the core of who you are, you have what it takes to be impactful and to change lives.”
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