UCF senator's accomplishments take him to Capitol Hill
Student Government Association Sen. Nick Grandchamps makes it difficult to define him solely as a UCF student. Recently, he was awarded the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship, which will send him to Capitol Hill this summer.
The fellowship chose 30 seniors and college graduates who have shown a competitive academic résumé along with service to the community domestically and internationally.
Grandchamps will likely be interning with New York's Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer to work on drafting legislation and further his knowledge on current international affairs. In between his two years at graduate school, Grandchamps will take time to work at a U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, Austria or South Africa.
During his time as a senator and chair of the committees, Grandchamps recently wrote a piece of legislation that cleaned up the judicial adviser and attorney general's job roles within SGA.
Grandchamps focused mainly on the internal structure of the SGA in his one year as senator.
"I helped clean up sign-overs for senators," Grandchamps said. "Students no longer have to stay on committees that the previous senator belonged to. Students who now join SGA can switch over to committees they are interested in."
Growing up in Casselberry, Nick quickly had to emerge as the man of the house after his mother and father split. The divorce thickened the bond he has with his mother, Myrielle Lemoine.
"Nick's integrity is one of his greatest attributes," Lemoine said. "In 22 years of having the honor of calling him my son, not once have I had any issues with him fibbing the truth, no matter how enormous the consequences."
The Casselberry native relies heavily on his missed opportunities to becoming a college athlete as the stepping stone for his desire to make an impact.
"Everyone asked me how basketball at UCF was going," Grandchamps said. "I wondered if I was a failure for not pursuing athletics. That type of pressure in athletics made it so important for me to focus on my academics."
Grandchamps hopes that as a foreign service officer he can work alongside with education agencies and agricultural sectors in order to improve nutrition and literacy for children.
His mother says that the toughest part will be for Nick to keep the integrity she has become accustomed to seeing.
"Our universe is filled with great people who mean well, and live by their word," Lemoine said. "But unfortunately, it also contains individuals whose moral compass is broken. We are all bound to interact with those individuals, and I fear that Nick will find it challenging to avoid personalizing their inadequacies."
Double majoring in both legal studies and political science makes it difficult for the SGA senator to accommodate both his friends and personal demands. Throughout his academic career, Grandchamps has traveled on mission trips to Haiti, Egypt and Jamaica, while including time to study abroad in Belize, France and Greece.
The College of Science senator has created an identity that his family and friends adore. Grandchamps is recognized throughout the universities Intramural Sports Program as co-workers and participants consistently refer to him as "Mr. President."
Nick places faith in both his beliefs and upbringing through every part of his life.
As a devoted Christian, Grandchamps said he devotes his service to the community as a part of his love for Jesus.
"My goals are to educate the poor and even open up my own school, so ultimately that starts with the kids," he said. "If they do remember me, I want them to remember me as a man who was humble and compassionate. I want to be a voice for the voiceless."
After graduation he plans on attending American University in Washington D.C. for his master's degree.
"I will miss him dearly," Lemoine said. "But I know that he is leaving home to embark on a journey where he will continue to do great things."
Eric Scott is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.