“I truly believe, that if you do the right thing, it will come back to you,” said Drew Rogers, a Missouri State graduate student pursuing a degree in social work and a certificate in conflict resolution.
In 2010, Rogers set up Andy’s Foundation, named for his son, and began a six-week computer essentials program. The classes teach individuals how to build a computer from start to finish and then ultimately create a résumé. He first implemented the courses at the Rare Breed, a program of the Kitchen serving 13-21 year olds, with the goal to build confidence and teach marketable skills to this underserved population.
“I always had ideas on how I wanted to make positive changes in my community,” said Drew. “When Andy was born, I realized that I didn’t want him to grow up in a world where helping others was just an option.”
Now the program is being implemented at the Greene County Juvenile Justice Center, Central High School and is being considered for implementation in other locations as well. Drew has studied the results to fulfill a requirement for his degree, and he is proud to report increases in the four dimensions studied: confidence, computer skills, self-esteem and résumé skills.
“One of my proudest moments with Andy’s Foundation so far was a select group of kids from the first session of the program that were able to come back and teach their peers the lessons,” he said. In addition, one of the participants shared that he used the résumé he created to get his first job.
Currently, Drew is writing curriculum and teaching others how to run the class.
Combining his interests of serving others, conflict mediation and his experience in the U.S. Navy special operations unit, Drew hopes to begin working with war veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
To learn more about Andy’s Foundation, contact Rogers through http://about.me/drewrogers.
This article originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader Jan. 30, 2012.