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Tamika Silverman Edwards' mother, Joyce Silverman, always told her, "Just do what's right — then you don't have to worry about anything else." It was just Tamika, a sister and their mother when Edwards was growing up in Little Rock, and she resolved to become the sort of person who could solve problems.
"Once you go into the law, you can be a changemaker for people who need help," Edwards says. "And going into public service, you know where everything is." Now on track to earn a degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 2012, Edwards has also been a mainstay in Arkansas public life since 2000, when she was hired onto Sen. Blanche Lincoln's staff after a summer internship. As the senator's community affairs specialist, Edwards appears on behalf of Lincoln at events in nine Arkansas counties, and provides the D.C. office information on affairs in the state.
Edwards is also involved in a range of charitable efforts, none more deeply than her work for the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, which chronicles the contributions of African-Americans to the state since the 19th century. "Because I don't know a lot about my family history," she says, "I tend to live life through history."