“If we do not layout ourselves in the service of mankind, whom should we serve?” This quote by John Adams guides Sherkquan Henry, Class of 2020 gradute and Miss UVI 2018-2019. “The ability to develop professionally, while helping others to do the same is among some of my fondest memories at the University of the Virgin Islands,” she says.
Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Political Science, Henry was offered a position with Walmart
“One of my fondest moments came from my role as the Thurgood Marshall Student Fund Ambassador for the University of the Virgin Islands,” Henry says. “As a result of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund program at UVI, I was offered a job as a Category Specialist within Walmart.” However, Due to Covid-19 and Walmart’s strategy to restructure the company into a more omni-channel business, I lost that job before I even had the opportunity to start.”
“Fortunately, because of all the opportunities offered to me through UVI, I had a strong enough resume to qualify and interview for another position. This week marks the fourth week into my role as an Associate Merchant in the Toys Department of Walmart, a role that many do not grow into until their 3rd-5th year in the company.” In her capacity as Associate Merchant, Henry is responsible for supplier relations, pricing and marketing for products within the department.
“I want to grow and learn within my role, while maintaining the characteristics of excellence, integrity, service, and leadership reinforced by my alma mater,” Henry says.
“After experiencing firsthand all the great things that UVI was able to offer me, I developed an immense drive to help my peers pursue greatness as well,” she adds. “Serving as a mentor allowed me the opportunity to see many of my fellow Buccaneers grow into superb professionals. In those moments when my peers competed in national competitions and received internship or job offers at prestigious companies, I was reminded of what I love most about my school.”
Henry earned the title of Miss University of the Virgin Islands in 2019. She later went on to represent the University at the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame: Competition of College Queens, where she ranked in the top ten.
“My journey as Miss UVI started as a way to boost my confidence and to remind myself that my story and history is what made me special,” says Henry, a native of Dominican, attending UVI on the St. Thomas Campus. “Not only did it do just that, but I was able to inspire many individuals around me. I believe that in many ways, I further broke down the stigma that the job of a College Queen is to smile and look pretty,” Henry says. “I shared UVI’s rich history and the impact it had within our community and at large, and I part took in meaningful dialogue, sharing opinions and a platform that was meaningful to me.”
“I watched myself develop into an even stronger, more aware, and more confident young woman,” she says. “I embraced myself and found that my University embraced me right back. I will forever hold serving as Miss University of the Virgin Islands as one of the greatest honors awarded to me by my institution.”
Henry’s academic prowess elevated her to being inducted into several prestigious societies such as Golden Key International Honor Society, Alpha Mu Gamma National Collegiate Foreign Language Honor Society. However, she believes that while academics are important, it is even more important to be a well-rounded student. As a student, she masterfully juggled her assignments with her active involvement in several clubs and organizations including the Student Government Association, the Technology and Innovation Club and the Anime Club. Her winning spirit also led her to becoming a finalist in UVI’s 13D Entrepreneurship Competition.
Henry has alotted time from her busy schedule for volunteer work. Tutoring at the Center for Student Success, volunteering as an Alternative Spring Break Community leader, partnering with Eco-Schools for the Community Capacity Building and Flood Risk Awareness Project are only some of the many things Henry contributed to.
Speaking of her future goal, she said, “in the long term, I would like to go back to school to become a lawyer, and one day, practice corporate law.”