First Generation UVI Graduate Takes Premier Step Toward Lifelong Goal
Service and leadership have always been at the core of everything that Kelvina Salters was drawn to. Her involvement in school events growing up in St. Kitts had already taught her of the invaluable benefits and thus pushed her to do more once she began her journey at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI).
Salters’ commitment to leadership was demonstrated in her service as a resident assistant, a position she held from her admission in 2018 until 2020. She exemplified the University’s core values of civic and global engagement by participating in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Washington Center in 2019.
“Service and leadership are about empathizing with others and helping them to meet their needs,” Salters says. “In service to my community and school, I felt that being able to inspire and encourage someone to want to make an impact on the world is a major accomplishment.”
Among the things Salters was involved in, she said, her most rewarding experience was being a resident assistant. “This role added significant value to my time at UVI,” Salters said. “Being able to connect with my peers on a more intimate level; more than what meet the eyes. It opened a lot of doors for me. I was able to tap into a lot of the resources that were made available to me,” she said. “I was also able to glean a lot of interpersonal and professional skills at the same time.”
“Having identified my leadership skills and my consistence in academics softened the ground and made my journey a lot easier. I was able to form a bond with members of the University’s administration and other students who saw my potential,” Salters says.
Salters maintained high academic achievement, making the Dean’s List each semester all while taking advantage of opportunities to lead.
She has just completed her first step toward her lifelong goal of becoming a public administrator, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science and a minor in political science.
“It is the beginning of realizing one of my career aspirations,” Salters said. “I hope one day that God would open the doors for me to make my mark in this field, particularly in my home country, St Kitts.”
As a first-generation graduate, Kelvina says that “obtaining this degree is a sign of victory,” Salters said. “My family has always stressed the importance of education in order to improve life. I believe in the saying, “what the trunk couldn’t do, the branches must do.”
“I will always remember the family feeling, which was a major theme on our campus,” Salters said reflecting on her time spent at UVI. “That feeling of warmth, welcome and love, which is invaluable to a wholesome academic experience. That is one thing that would remain distinct in my mind forever.”
Salters was nominated by her peers on the Sheen Campus to be the Class Speaker at this year’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony.