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Kareem and Sarita with the children, daughter Rian, and sons Josiah, Jeremiah and Elijah. Missing is son Jeffrey, who is away at college at Auburn. CONTRIBUTED

Edwards Family honored with city coin presentation

MADISON – A family who was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Madison’s Family of the Year was honored last week by the city council. The Edwards family, consisting of Kareem and Sarita Edwards, along with their children Josiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and Jeffery, were presented a city coin by Madison City Council president Steve Smith.

Since November 2018, the mayor and city council members have taken turns awarding a city coin each month to honor citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the city.

Smith said he had an opportunity to meet the Edwards family during the Madison Family of the Year presentation and was very impressed with their contributions to making Madison a better place to live.

“The Edwards are a family of faith. Faith in their community, faith in each other, and faith in God,” Smith said. “Through faith comes strength, and the Edwards Family has that in spades.”

Kareem is a Senior Manager for FedEx Corporation during the week and serves as an Ordained Deacon and Youth Department Leader at Healing Spring Baptist Church. Sarita is a licensed Minister with a background in Healthcare Administration; she is currently a stay-at-home Mom.

The Edwards’ commitment to their advocacy work requires a vast amount of strength, and it’s something they do together as a family. Their son, Elijah, was prenatally diagnosed (2016) with Trisomy 18, a rare, genetic, chromosomal abnormality; and is medically defined as “incompatible with life.” In March 2019 they founded the E.WE Foundation, which raises awareness about early access to diagnostic therapies that can create better outcomes for chronically ill infants.

The family has lobbied together on behalf of the Newborn Screenings Saves Lives Reauthorization Act to both the Alabama 5th Congressional District and the state Senate. Sarita also works along with Madison City Schools and the Madison Community to provide support and resources for families with special needs children.

Education is another passion of the Edwards. The whole family is very active in the PTA at Columbia Elementary and Discovery Middle School. Oldest son, Jeffrey, a Bob Jones graduate and former football player, is pursuing a degree in Fitness, Performance, and Conditioning at Auburn University.

Fifth grader, Josiah, is a member of a Community LEGO Robotics Team. Jeremiah, a 4th grader at Columbia, is a musician. Rian, an 8th grader at Discovery Middle, is a former track athlete and aspiring theater and drama student.

Sarita also volunteered for Madison Forward this past Fall to ensure the passage of the school property tax, alongside the whole family.

“We celebrate every victory and talk through our defeats,” Kareem Edwards said. “We believe that these qualities solidify our family foundation.”

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