100 Years, 100 Stories
Video: Quentin Savwoir grew up in Kansas City. He graduated from the Paseo Academy, which is part of the Kansas City Public School District. Now he works for the city in Mayor Sly James’ office.
“My title is Special Assistant for Public Policy. I work in the areas of public health, transportation and energy efficiency. I am responsible for making sure that the Mayor is fully aware of ordinances and any developments in those three areas, ” said Savwoir.
He sat down at City Hall to talk about his passion, his education and his work. He said he is glad to be so intricately involved in city politics.
“I am a son of Kansas City and having this job, in this role, is allowing me to experience the City that I love in a different way. I am able to see the decisions that impact so many lives and make the difference in so many lives day in and day out. And it allows me to appreciate the city much differently, ” explained Savwoir.
When he talks about his journey, Savwoir explained it was not necessarily and easy path. He attended three other higher education institutions in the area. He referred to those attempts as false starts, but then he enrolled at Metropolitan Community College.
“I recognized that at my core, I am a student and I like to learn. And it was something about unlocking my desire to understand my greatness and potential that enabled my success at MCC. And I had a really good group of people who were supporting me. I knew I didn’t want to go to a school where I was just another number. When I walk down the hall, I wanted my teacher to be able to call me by name. When someone asks me about MCC, I tell them it was the best decision I have ever made in my life, ” said Savwoir.
He credits MCC employees for making his educational journey seem more attainable.
“I remember walking in on August of 2008 meeting with Gwen Pate and I walked in the Penn Valley with a 1.6 GPA and she said okay we can work with this. I can see that you like to write, you like history and you like politics. After my first semester, I got all Bs and one A bringing my GPA to a 3.25. After that first semester, my GPA allowed me to get involved in on-campus activities and I think that is what unlocked the door to my success at MCC. I started being accountable to my peers and I was involved in the culture of the campus. That enabled me to really have a support network. Dr.Craig Bartholomaus, Lyle Gibson and Dr. Carrie Pickerell-Brooks– those were some of the teachers who really had a hand in making sure I was engaged and I understood the coursework,” said Savwoir.
“I graduated from MCC in May of 2010 and I went to Rockhurst University. I can now look back and say it was all work it. I would not have wanted to get it right, straight out of high school, because I would not have developed the affinity for learning that I now have” explained Savwoir.
He is enjoying his time at City Hall and hopes that he can continue to make an impact on the city he loves.