KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cynthia Newsome came to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1997, and the city has been forever changed because of it.
Immediately, the 41 Action News anchor started making an impact on screen and off. She created Awesome Ambitions, a high school, college and career readiness program for 8th through 12th grade girls in the Kansas City Public School District.
Melody Elston was one of the girls in the program's first class.
"There being a workshop on self respect and how important self respect was, and when I tell you that stuck with me, I remember just hearing the importance of loving yourself and respecting yourself and how it will carry in all aspects of your life," Elston said.
In 1999, renovations at Union Station were complete and Cynthia needed a date. According to her husband, Ed, she said, "I have these tickets to the grand opening of Union Station, and I need a warm body. I'm not trying to find a boyfriend, nobody to marry or anything like that."
Well, that's exactly what happened. Ed proposed live on air at 41 Action News, the couple was married in 2001 and they've been "sweethearts" ever since.
Kansas City also has watched Cynthia have fun on Workout Wednesdays and share her breast cancer diagnosis in 2011. The community rallied around her in her fight.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver put it this way – "I think that's what makes her so amazing is that she is clearly a woman of prominence in our community, but she doesn't try to promote that at all. She tries to be who she is."
Cynthia used her own diagnosis as inspiration to educate others. Ed told 41 Action News that her mindset was to show her journey as a way to help others.
"She realized, and I did too, that this challenge was not about us, but it was about us getting through this but also showing others they can get through their trials and tribulations too," Ed said.
Shay Moore, host of the Morning Grind with Shay and Shyne on Hot 103 Jamz, said Cynthia's career paved the way for others.
"I can only imagine what it was like getting into the industry 41 years ago as a Black woman," Moore said. "I feel like I’m literally riding on the wings or the coattails of Cynthia. If it were not for her, would that have been possible in Kansas City? I don’t know.”
This year, Cynthia celebrates 41 years in broadcasting and 24 of those in Kansas City. Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas issued a proclamation in her honor, forever cementing her contributions to the city he now leads.
"I'm just so excited to still be watching her, and we're proud of everything she does every day in our community," Lucas said.
She's still bringing so much joy to the anchor desk and beyond, making a mark in our shared history.
"Cynthia has built a legacy, first of all, let me say of love. When you meet Cynthia you feel love," Julee Jonez, midday personality at Hot 103 Jamz said.
The 41 Action News team is delighted to honor Cynthia Newsome: a journalist, trailblazer and inspiration for us all.