01 Feb, 2023
February 1, 2023
Written by Rhonnel Sotelo, Chief Executive Officer
Nearly a decade ago, I reached a crossroads in my career, searching and yearning for inspiration. I needed to be challenged, awakened. The Rogers Family Foundation – its mission, team, culture – took me in, let me lead, and helped me rediscover my passion for community change. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
When you become one with a place and its people, you hope it lasts forever. The Rogers Family Foundation did not offer this possibility as it was never designed to exist in perpetuity. In October 2020, we publicly announced that our nearly two-decade commitment to Oakland and its students, families, and schools would sunset within a five-year window. That window is now closing.
2023 represents our last full year of grantmaking and operations, and our entire team is committed to making it our best year yet. As Muhammad Ali once said: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” As we strive to make a difference each day across the Oakland public education landscape, we also want to reflect, recognize, and celebrate the indelible and enduring efforts of grantees, partners, and The Town’s amazing young people. Here are some things you’ll see from us this year:
It has been an incredible journey. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been of service to many of you. We invite you to follow along through 2023. We hope you’ll read, share, and comment on our stories as a way of remembering what we’ve learned and accomplished together, but also as a continued call to action to support Oakland’s students and families. Please feel free to reach out – we are open to sharing our collective and individual journeys as we remain committed to the Oakland community through our last years.