As an advocate for the elderly, Edna Chavis has made many improvements for matured people. She worked for the Social Security Administration for eleven years, where she recognized that “older people are the same as anyone else with the same wants and desires.” Since then, she gained educational experience to assist her in understanding the self-concept of older people. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science and a teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University in 1972, a Master of Science Degree in Adult Education from Tuskegee Institute in 1975, and a PhD Degree in Social Gerontology and Adult Education from the University of Missouri in 1979.
Some of her accomplishments include her position as the head of the Missouri Delegates to the White House Conference on Aging and her lobbying efforts toward Missouri’s first Governor’s Conference on Aging. She was also awarded the Lt. Governor’s Nursing Home Task Force Certificate of Appreciation. As an adjunct instructor at Lincoln University, Chavis emphasizes to her students that aging is a natural process. She has had a great impact on her students, several of whom have continued on related career paths. Following her own advice that “Aging successfully is to never sit down and do nothing,” Chavis continues to teach, work as a gerontologist, and serve on committees within the Department of Health and Senior Services.