Thank You for your Service: Combining Passions to Make an Impact

UA student Jahnaya poses in front of flags in her Air Force/ROTC uniform Jahnaya Cosby, a sophomore majoring in marketing, found a way to combine her passions and campus involvement to serve others during her time at the Capstone.

Honoring Veterans Through Campus Involvement

Jahnaya recognized a need for initiatives that focused on giving back to veterans, so she decided to coordinate several efforts for veterans through her involvement in Student Government Association (SGA) and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (VMA) as a military-affiliated student in the ROTC. In March she coordinated and organized Operation Grateful, where 60 care packages were created and delivered to veterans at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in conjunction with SGA and the VMA office. The care packages included snacks, supplies, hygiene products, paracord bracelets made by the student organization Women of Excellence and handwritten thank you letters from students. However, this is not the first event that Jahnaya coordinated to honor veterans. In November she organized for luminaries to be displayed at The University of Alabama Student Center on Veterans Day.

“I’m all about serving others and making lives other than mine better. I would encourage students to get involved whether on campus or in the community because it will be worth it.” – Jahnaya Cosby

A VMA student worker and Jahnaya Cosby in Air Force/ROTC uniform pose in front of Houser Hall, where the VMA office is located

Getting Involved

Jahnaya chose to come to UA because of its proximity to her hometown Montgomery, AL and because it felt like home. As a freshman she was looking for ways to get involved like she was in high school. She discovered SGA’s First Year Council (FYC) on Instagram and decided to apply. She was accepted and joined the group of 65 freshman leaders that serve as the official representative body of the freshman class. After her freshman year, she wanted to stay connected to SGA so she took on the role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Cabinet Director of Veteran and Military Affairs. Jahnaya stated, “I really appreciate the experiences and the connections I’ve made so far in SGA.”

Her involvement with the VMA office began as she utilized some of their resources as a freshman in the ROTC. She would visit the VMA office in Houser Hall to print documents for class or to look at scholarships. She now works closely with the office and utilizes them as a helpful resource to help with community service initiatives she has planned.

Leaving Her Mark at the Capstone

UA student Jahnaya hands a care basket to a veteran at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical CenterJahnaya strives to make her mark on campus by helping others and has enjoyed all the relationships she has made along the way. Continuing to pursue ways to make a positive impact on others through campus involvement, Jahnaya joined Al’s Pals Mentorship program through the Center for Service and Leadership. Last semester she helped mentor 10-12 4th graders at Central Elementary once a week in Tuscaloosa through different enrichment activities.

This summer, Jahnaya is looking forward to Field Training to improve her leadership skills and selflessness. She was recently awarded an Air Force ROTC scholarship that will help further her success at the Capstone. When she graduates, she will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force.

Jahnaya poses in front of red, white, and blue luminaries set up in front of the UA Student Center