As CEO of the Fulfillment Fund since 2012, Kenny Rogers focuses each day on the organization's transformative work of building relationships, illuminating opportunities and changing lives.
At a time when eight in 10 students from the top income quartile in the U.S. earn college degrees, but only one in 10 students from the bottom income quartile do, Rogers seeks to ensure that Fulfillment Fund students growing up in low-income communities in Los Angeles have a realistic opportunity to pursue a high-quality education and help themselves and their families climb out of poverty.
Under Rogers' leadership, Fulfillment Fund students are achieving their educational dreams. Whereas only 52% of students in low-income communities who graduate high school go on to college, more than 90% of Fulfillment Fund scholars do. Whereas nationally, only 33% of students from low-income communities who enroll in four-year colleges graduate, more than 70% of Fulfillment Fund scholars do.
The Fulfillment Fund provides classroom instruction, mentoring, college and financial aid counseling, experiential learning opportunities and other programs to more than 2,000 middle and high school students in partner schools each year, yet there are more than 100,000 students from low-income families attending high schools in Los Angeles who could benefit from Fulfillment Fund services.
Rogers' vision as CEO is that by the year 2018, the Fulfillment Fund will be offering college access services to thousands of additional students across the city.
"The Fulfillment Fund's track record shows with just a little more individualized support, a little more know-how, and a little more financial assistance, we can help students in any high school go to college and earn their degree," Rogers says. "Our dream is that we can extend our reach so that children all across the city have a real opportunity to pursue their educational potential, and our city can take advantage of all the incredible potential we have with our diverse population."
Prior to the Fulfillment Fund, Rogers served from 2005-2011 as the Executive Director of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting physical activity and fitness for all Californians, especially children and youth.
As an Echoing Green Fellow in the mid-1990s, Rogers founded the Barrio Logan College Institute in San Diego, which has helped hundreds of children from low-income communities become the first in their family to attend college. Rogers has also served as Vice President of Programs for the Marin Education Fund (now 10,000 Degrees) and as Interim Executive Director of Project GRAD Los Angeles, both highly regarded college access programs.
A Los Angeles native, Rogers is a graduate of Princeton University and received his master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four young children.