by Sheryl Marlar

Xavier Jennings found his passion at the University of West Georgia. After getting his undergraduate degree in political science, the Lithonia native is now in UWG’s master of public administration program, blazing his trail to the Capitol.

Making Capitol Gains: Student Moves from UWG to Politics

“What I’ve gotten from UWG is amazing,” Jennings said. “I learned how to professionally develop myself and how to lead by example. My mentoring and leadership skills have improved. And UWG opened my eyes to politics.”

As such, Jennings has been involved in several political projects.

He’s currently working as a policy and legislative intern in Gov. Nathan Deal’s office.

“I’d love to spend the rest of my life trying to make people’s lives better,” said Jennings, who’s working in Deal’s office to track legislation with a focus on educational policy. “The experiences I’ve gained have given me a different outlook on so many different cultures. I want to focus on those international relations, which can help open the door to learning new things and help change the world into a better place.”

Jennings also serves as campaign manager for Rosie Holley, candidate for Carroll County Commissioner, District 1. The election is set for March 20.

Previously, Jennings has served as a grad assistant for Dr. Chapman Rackaway, chair of the political science department, and Dr. Sooho Lee, associate professor and graduate director, also in the political science department.

In spring 2017, Jennings had the opportunity to take part in the Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP).

“It was amazing,” Jennings continued. “I was allowed to work on the casino bill with Representative Ron Stephens, chairman of Economic Tourism and Development, and Representative Greg Morris, chairman of Banks and Banking. I also had the opportunity to meet several influential people–such as David Ralston, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, and Stacey Abrams, Georgia House Minority Leader.”

Jennings keeps up this busy pace while taking his MPA classes online.

“The professors here are wonderful,” Jennings reflected. “They are very understanding and supportive, and always here to help.”

Jennings has a goal of running for and winning a congressional seat in Washington, D.C., or maybe even becoming governor so he can make positive changes to communities.

He found his calling at UWG.

“I’ve found that politics is where I want to be–better yet, it’s where I belong,” he said.

Posted on March 2, 2018