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Cassandra Ann Cosby

She was born in Buffalo, NY.
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Cassandra Ann "Dee" Cosby is one of seven children born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She grew up as the only girl and learned early in life the value of persistence, how to make herself heard, and the struggles of growing up in a poor family and trying to maintain a sense of pride and personal dignity while staying in touch with the values of the Pearsall family roots in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Her mother, Ms. Alberta Pearsall-Cosby struggled to make ends meet for family by signing on to work in the fields of local farms picking fruit and vegetables, often taking young Dee and her brothers with her to work as well. This was a way of supplementing the family income she earned working part-time as a Buffalo School Crossing Guard for thirty-seven years.

But even so, for all her mom's effort the family was struck with tragedy on more than one occasion, first when five-month old Karen Marie died from pneumonia because the family did not have adequate health insurance; and then again in 1994 when the youngest brother in the family, Alvin, a foreign language teacher for Buffalo Public Schools was robbed and shot to death in his Eastside home by a former student- a student whose family Alvin Cosby had been mentoring.

Dee attended elementary and junior high school, but left at age fifteen joined Job Corps in Portland, Oregon where she graduated with dual certificates in Printing Press Operator and Banking Clerk. She was selected to deliver the Valedictorian speech for her graduating class.

After thirteen years of nomadic living in California, Alaska, Texas, Arizona, and Oregon, Dee returned to Buffalo, New York. In 1990 she formed a professional partnership that resulted in the formation of the Buffalo Coalition of Home Day Care Providers, Inc. - Buffalo's first trade association created especially to address the business and professional needs of inner city home-based childcare services.

The organization developed an Early Childhood Certificate Program sponsored by Houghton College and State University of New York at Buffalo and held the first conference in Erie County for Family Day Care Providers at a Burger King in downtown Buffalo. Her activism caught the attention of scholars where she was invited to publish an article in the University of Pennsylvania: Community Schools and Colleges Journal that chronicled this grassroots effort that led to twenty-three inner city women establishing home based childcare businesses.

In 1994 Dee was appointed to the New York State Gubernatorial Transition Team as part of Governor-Elect George Pataki leadership team on Small Business & Tourism. Dee's recognitions and awards also include: Guest Lecturer, State University New York at Buffalo Graduate School of Education; Panelist New York State Regulatory Reform on Childcare; Business First 40 Under 40 Award for Leadership in Business; National Job Corps Programs Award for Excellence & Outstanding Alumnae and, Community Hero Olympic Torch Runner for the 1996 World Games.

Dee's activism extended to advocating for School Choice and hosting a radio show that gave parents and caregivers the opportunity to have their voices heard. Interspersed with her community involvement and activism, Dee worked as a workforce development instructor for welfare-to-work programs, operational trainer in banking and telecommunications industries and most recently as a Personal Banker serving the needs of Buffalo's poorest inner city community, In September 2007 Dee joined United Healthcare Customer Care Division in Tonawanda, New York and in February 2008 became a part of the Employee Engagement Team.

Dee maintains a journal of her experiences and is currently translating it into an autobiography titled: I Crashed the Party: Tales of an Urban Republican.