Power of 9: Edna Cosey

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The January honoree for outstanding volunteer work is Edna Cosey. Ms. Cosey welcomed 9News into her home, ruled by a Chihuahua named Chandler.

The dog never did stop barking. Cosey said, "You'll have to visit a second time before he may warm to you."

Cosey said she "inherited" the dog from one of her children. She's been a widow for 17 years. In 2000, she retired from teaching Women's Heath to nursing students at Southern University. Donna Britt noted that Edna may not have anyone to tell her she's overdoing. And in fact, most people who know her, reportedly comment on her energy. "I have a Type A personality," Edna admitted.

She's proud of her three adult children. Merrick, her oldest, is an assistant attorney general in Washington, DC. He's considered so outstanding that Southern's Law School and the Cosey family sponsor an annual award, The Merrick Cosey Cup, for an outstanding SU Law student, who will win $500 this year.

Ms. Edna offers tea and Britt accepts. She spins her rack of single cup brews, and Donna chooses a Snapple Apple Tea. She also presents shortbread cookies shaped like dogs.

(Meanwhile, Chandler the Dog is still barking from a safe distance…)

Edna has a china cabinet which is full of nurse figurines, which could represent her career. Edna was in nursing for many years, first as labor and delivery, then as women's health, eventually teaching women's health nursing at Southern University. Cosey has two master's degrees.

She points to her faith in God as her inspiration, "Everything that I accomplished throughout my life, I could tell God was preparing me for the next level." She says she felt she learned counseling in college, education for children, and did time in public health, all to prepare for her volunteer work.

Cosey is a member of St. John Baptist Church on Old Rafe Meyer Road in Alsen. She really hit her stride in volunteer work there. The church appointed her leader of the Missions Ministry, and members are enthusiastic about helping the community. Just to name a few: St John Baptist mounts a team for Race for the Cure, another for Sickle Cell Anemia..the church holds a Family Day every October, and spreads a feast of free food...

Edna makes your mouth water as she spills a list of the food on the tables, "Oh we have fried chicken, baked chicken, bar-b-q chicken, fried catfish potato salad, green beans," the list goes on!

While everyone's enjoying the good stuff and eating, Edna grabs a clipboard and gently asks each person to donate to Sickle Cell Anemia. In 7 years' time, St. John Baptist has donated more than 12-thousand dollars.

Edna said her ministry with kids is her passion. She created the program "Success for Our Kids" and is the executive director.

"We're a non-profit organization for youth," she said,"that serves youth from ages 5 to 19."

Edna says they have summer camp, mentoring programs year-round. The children of Alsen have a place to get support in school in their life's journey.

There are actually more volunteer jobs Edna Cosey has done, including work for Delta Sigma Theta, her sorority. But suffice it to say she is easily a Power of 9 volunteer, exponential in her dedication to helping others!


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