MNU news

Challenge and Passion Motivates New Grad

New Grad Utilizes Skills Learned With Passion

By Katy Ward ('14)
June 26, 2014

DeAndrea “DeDe” Rogers (’14) is a planner, an organizer and creator of ways to bring groups together. Seven years ago Rogers found that working with underperforming schools is one of her greatest passions. She started her journey when she began working in the Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) in the human resources department. Transitioning to a position as a program coordinator she began the Before and After School Program for KCPS.

“I want to help bridge the gap between the parents and the school district in order to get the parents more involved in their children’s school life,” said Rogers.

After working for five years at KCPS, Rogers moved to the Detroit School District in 2012 and became the parent and community involvement specialist. In this position, Rogers meets with the Parents’ Board which plans various events for parents such as an appreciation lunch, computer classes, Make a Wish Moms and Fish Fry Dads.

“These events are created in order to help the parents feel part of the school district,” explained Rogers. “If we can get the parents to connect with other parents, they are more apt to be more involved within the school district.”

Rogers says parent involvement has increased exponentially in the past two years.

“In the past, we would have maybe five parents show up to the events, but now we have 70-150 parents attend,” she says.

Not only does Rogers create events specifically for the parents, she also holds events such as the student talent show and asks the parents to volunteer.

“While kids aren’t the bulk of my job description, I have found that when the students are involved in the school events, the parents tend to be more involved,” Rogers commented. “The students are the biggest advocate to parental involvement, so when they are excited about their activities the parents want to participate as well.”

One such program Rogers created to increase engagement is called “Pink Diamonds,” which provides mentoring for 4th- 8th grade girls. Rogers explained that she is also a basketball coach and a Girl Scout leader.

“As a single mother of three, I know how important it is to be involved in your children’s lives,” Rogers said. “I want my children to be as successful as possible and I want the children and their families to achieve that same level of success.”

Rogers added that the classes she took at MNU helped her learn better ways to bring in new partners and volunteers for each event and after school programs.

“What I learned at MNU helped me to do my job better and gave me more opportunities for growth,” said Rogers.

Now that Rogers has earned her bachelor’s degree, she is planning to return to MNU to pursue a master’s degree.

“My passion is to be an asset to children and their families and to help make a difference in their lives.”

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