For Quamid Francis (’17), service to others has always been his north star. He has volunteered with organizations such as Best Buddies, the Ronald McDonald House, and Habitat for Humanity. He also joined the Marine Corps, serving in the war in Afghanistan and later working directly with communities in the Philippines and Japan as part of his military service.
His efforts have drawn numerous accolades over the years, including the Presidential Award for Community Volunteer Work, awarded to him by President Barack Obama. But like many passionate volunteers, Francis never expected the recognition. “I was just going about doing what I love, connecting with youth and children and supporting their wellbeing,” he says. “The award came about by surprise—literally by me just being who I am.”
After his military service ended, Francis earned his bachelor’s degree in public affairs at Baruch and transitioned to a career in New York City government, working in a variety of roles including deputy commissioner and chief of staff for the Department of Veterans’ Services.
In January 2022, Francis joined City Year New York, an AmeriCorps-affiliated nonprofit, as its executive director, a role he calls his “sweet spot.” Francis describes City Year as “an intersection of education and workforce development … powered by national service.”
City Year recruits and trains young professionals to become student success coaches in systemically under-resourced schools across New York City. The coaches serve as positive role models for students and work to address chronic absenteeism, behavioral issues, and coursework.
Francis continues to give back to his community in other ways, most recently joining the Baruch College Fund’s Board of Trustees. He hopes to bring a fresh perspective as a former student of color as well as someone who has risen through the ranks of government and nonprofits. “I’ve long believed that Baruch is one of New York City’s treasures in terms of being a career catalyzer and an opportunity catalyzer for young people from all walks of life,” Francis says.
He stresses that helping others is a reward in and of itself. “The value of service is recognizing the common causes that bind us as Americans, as people, as community members,” he says. “No matter what your station is in life, doing something that serves others is really the greatest satisfaction.”