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Kenneth D. Rodgers

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Information about Kenneth D. Rodgers

Profile image of Kenneth D. Rodgers

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Youth Advocate

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Tacos
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/20/1951
Birth Location:
Lansing, Michigan

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Youth Advocate

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Tacos
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/20/1951
Birth Location:
Lansing
See how Kenneth D. Rodgers is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic minded mechanical engineer, Kenneth D. Rodgers was born September 20, 1951 in Lansing, Michigan. With family roots in Mississippi, his parents, Joe and Irene Rodgers were members of Paradise Baptist Church. As a child, Rodgers was mentored by Art Jones of the National Society of Civil Engineers. Attending Allen Street Elementary School, West Junior High School, Rodgers improved his grades and graduated from Sexton High School in 1969. At the University of Detroit, Rodgers instituted New Dawn, a youth enrichment project. He graduated with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 1975 and earned a master’s in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University in 2002.

Starting as a schoolteacher, Rodgers was hired as an engineer for Goodyear in Lansing. Moving to Reading, Pennsylvania in 1978, he started a youth chapter, and became president of the NAACP. He also set up a program called Brothers and Sisters. In 1982, Rodgers moved to the Chicago area. Youth Action Ministries (YAM) was founded by Reverend Hycel B. Taylor at Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois that same year. Rodgers became volunteer executive director for YAM shortly thereafter. Programs instituted by Rodgers include: youth mentoring, tutoring, and self esteem workshops. Since 1989, YAM has offered an annual college tour highlighting historically Black colleges and universities. Through the EdgeUp project, Rodgers introduces students to engineering.

A member of the Evanston Zoning Board, the Coalition for the Improvement of Education in South Shore, Rodgers also serves on the boards of the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Children’s Defense Program. He works as an engineer for Greely Hanson in Chicago and is vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers. Honored for his community service, Rodgers is a popular motivational speaker.

See how Kenneth D. Rodgers is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenneth D. Rodgers' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his parent's background and his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his parents' contribution to their local African American community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his paternal grandfather and father's work
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers remembers growing up in Lansing, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the values his parents instilled in their children
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Lansing, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes himself as a student
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Kenneth D. Rodgers reflects on the transformation from his childhood to his more responsible adult self
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his extracurricular activities at J.W. Sexton High School and his influences during that time
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth D. Rodgers recalls dropping out of University of California, Los Angeles and then entering the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his involvement in community organizations as a young adult
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes working for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company while attending the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his involvement with civic organizations in Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois and his involvement in community organizations in the Chicagoland area
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his youth organization, Youth Action Ministry (YAM), in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his approach with the children in Youth Action Ministry (YAM)
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his motivational philosophy for Youth Action Ministry (YAM)
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the leadership of children in Youth Action Ministry (YAM) and the program's college attendance rate
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes a Youth Action Ministry workshop
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about HistoryMaker Tavis Smiley's Youth to Leaders program and selecting topics to cover during Youth Action Ministry workshops
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about instilling self-esteem into young African Americans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the yam symbolism used in Youth Action Ministry (YAM)
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about Youth Action Ministry's connection to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the history of Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the racism experienced during Youth Action Ministry trips
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about HBCUs and the importance of African Americans knowing their history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about the college scholarship opportunities available for African Americans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes the importance of preparing African American children for higher education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth D. Rodgers reflects upon an incident from his childhood he regrets and the life lesson learned from it
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth D. Rodgers reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth D. Rodgers talks about his parents' opinion of his success
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth D. Rodgers describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth D. Rodgers narrates his photographs