The 26-year-old alumnus and budding philanthropist knew he could do that if he focused on being a change agent in his community.
“It was a no-brainer, Rogers says. “Georgia State helped mold me into the person I am today. I’m proud of my time in Atlanta. Wherever you come from, it’s important to give back.”
Rogers was born and raised in Lawrenceville, Ga. A graduate of Berkmar High School, he works in New York City as a management associate for Deutsche Bank, an international investment bank based in Germany. While Rogers lives in Manhattan, he’s doing his best to stay connected to his hometown.
One of the ways Rogers, a first-generation college student, is giving back is through a fundraiser he created on the occasion of his birthday five years ago. Eschewing a party or some other typical birthday celebration, Rogers asked friends to donate money throughout the month of January. During his time at Georgia State, he raised enough money to fund two scholarships for college students in the Atlanta area.
“I wanted to do something that mattered,” Rogers recalls. “There are so many things that can be done.”
Rogers chose to attend Georgia State for several reasons, including its location and urban setting. He was immediately drawn to the diverse quality of the school’s campus.
“It was a completely different world from my hometown,” Rogers remembers. “It was helpful for me to go to school in an urban setting and easier to mature in that environment. You see the highs and lows of society.”
Rogers graduated from Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business in 2010, earning his B.B.A. in finance in addition to a certificate in international business. While a student, he received the Nell Trotter, Ambling and Kenneth England Scholarships in addition to study abroad support that allowed him to travel to Paris and Brussels.
He made several important decisions along the way at Georgia State. He felt it was vital to be a part of university’s Freshman Learning Communities so he would be exposed to many different fields that he may be interested in. He leaned toward medicine early on, but he gravitated toward business once he started classes, especially in areas such as statistics and economics.
Two courses that Rogers took―international business and intro to financial derivatives―left a strong impression. His professors had something in common, he says.
“Both were able to translate their business experience into a practical learning environment,” he says. “I was able to learn the information on a deeper level through their hands-on approach.”
Rogers says the overall work ethic of Georgia State students stands out in the community.
“I remember everyone working hard in and outside of the classroom,” he says. “Throughout my time on campus, I met a lot of folks who were trying to take care of themselves and their families. They valued their education, and viewed it as a stepping stone to a better life.
Some time away from Atlanta also had a lasting effect on Rogers. He spent his spring breaks in 2007 and 2008 in New Orleans when the city was still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rogers and fellow classmates mainly painted houses the first time they were there. Education was the focus during their return trip.
“It was a pretty emotional time, just from a volunteer standpoint,” Rogers remembers. “The folks from the area were very resilient. While tutoring in the classroom, I realized that having a good education early in life could make all the difference. It completely changed my life.”
Rogers, who played basketball for four years in high school, has become an avid runner. He is working toward competing in a half-marathon.
“It allows me to clear my head and escape the stress of a busy New York City lifestyle,” Rogers says.
Rogers has had even less free time in recent months. For Deutsche Bank, he helps large corporations manage their money and slate of assets, working regularly with senior portfolio traders, research analysts, executives and traders to complete strategic initiatives for management. He remains an active member in the Georgia State’s Alumni Association, and his fundraising efforts have taken off since he started his My Birthday Fundraiser program. Rogers hopes to fund $1,000-scholarships for seven college and high school students this year.
“There’s a certain feeling you get when you help others,” Rogers says. “It’s warm and contagious.”
By: Jason Langbehn (M.P.A. ’12)