Columbus native youngest-ever member of Birmingham school board


Dispatch Staff Report



A Columbus native has become the youngest person elected to the Birmingham, Ala., Board of Education.


Alana Edwards, 23, was elected to a four-year term on the board this year.


A 2003 graduate of Victory Academy, Edwards, the youngest of six children and daughter of Pastor J.C. Edwards and Lottie Edwards of Columbus, is a 2007 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and currently lives in Birmingham, where she will represent District 7 on the Board of Education.



"I feel real proud," said J.C. Edwards, the pastor of New Zion Steens Missionary Baptist Church. "Especially, considering the struggle she went through to be elected. Her opponent labeled her as too young and inexperienced. She kind of went against the odds. Another struggle she had was being from Mississippi. That was one of the things she had to overcome, being an outsider. But my daughter started from the grass-roots. She went door-to-door; she beat the pavement. She was determined.


"Columbus ought to be proud, too," he added.


Alana Edwards, who is the niece of Joe Edwards, Columbus'' first African American city councilman, defeated two-term incumbent Odessa Ashley, 75, for the District 7 seat.





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