Robert Rogers in the Community

"Business and community run hand in hand. We must help those that need help and do what needs to be done."

Miami-Dade Mayor's Microenterprise Workshop

On March 25th, 2010, Robert Rogers assisted in presenting at the Miami-Dade County Mayor's Micro-enterprise Workshop. Robert was a guest speaker on topics of entity formation and contract drafting and negotiation.

Diamonds in the Rough Sports, Inc. Fundraiser

On October 16, 2009, Robert Rogers was invited to speak at a fundraising dinner for the nonprofit, Diamonds in the Rough Sports, Inc.The nonprofit focuses on taking kids that were not able to finish high school and help get them off the street, into charter school and then on the college. They use the vehicle of athletic ability in order to help get these kids scholarships and junior colleges. It is a program that has amazing potential to impact kids that really need the support.Included below is the video and transcript of the speech.
“The Power of Education”
To begin, I like to express my gratitude to Lloyd for the vision and foresight to set up Diamonds in the Rough Sports and put together this event this evening. I'm also glad to see all of you here tonight because of the commitment that that demonstrates and the influence that each of you can have in the lives of the young people of our community. This is a great start and I hope that we can take the vision of what we see today and share with our friends and neighbors in order to launch this nonprofit.

I appreciate the opportunity that Lloyd has given me tonight to speak with you a little about the power of education. In order to illustrate the principles of education that I would like to share with you to be this evening, I would like to share a story from my own life. When I was a young man my family lives in the state of Minnesota. In our backyard were two large pine trees that had grown relatively close to one another. I enjoyed taking as many opportunities as I could to go into the backyard and climb the trees. On one such occasion, I had climbed about 10 or 15 feet up in one of the trees and decided that I wanted to be in the other tree. I had two options: I could climb down, walk from the base of the tree that I was on to the base of the other tree and climb that tree. But I fixed my mind on the second option. I decided it would be much faster to walk along the intertwined branches of the two trees to go from one tree to the other. As such, I proceeded to walk along the branch that I was standing on in an attempt to walk along the branches attached to the other tree. I had taken a couple of steps when I was soon taught an important ecological truth. Branches are weaker the further they get from the trunk of the tree. This lesson was taught in dramatic fashion as the branch I was standing on snapped and I fell to the ground landing on my back. Lucky for me the only thing that happened was I knocked the wind out of myself, but the lesson persists to this day.

Now there are several analogies that we can draw from this experience that I had, but I would like to focus on two things. First, safety that exists in education; or standing close to the trunk. Second, the power of education to allow us to do the right thing, or the best thing. Education has played a very important role for me in my life. In fact at this point in time the majority of my life was spent in receiving a formal education. Of course that's not to diminish the education that I've received since then but simply illustrates the impact that education has had on me on a daily basis. Education also plays a critical role in the development of communities and of civilizations. Education has done more across the go to alleviate poverty, sickness, depression, and all sorts of adversities that everyone faces. Education brings everyone safety and opportunity.

In fact, internationally, education has played a critical role in assisting individuals and families to break out of the poverty cycle in the developing world. For example, in the country of Bangladesh Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner, has worked directly with the poor of Bangladesh in order to offer them opportunities to overcome their situation. A critical element of the work that he is doing has been education. In his own words, “the effects of poverty can be very insidious. Public schools in Bangladesh are available even in the countryside, tuition is not charged, and books are free. But this doesn't mean that money is not a barrier to education. Paper, pens, pencils, and other supplies cost money. So does a school uniform. Even more important, sending a child off to school for several hours a day has a hidden cost in the income generating potential that must be foregone. A small child can help make money for the family in many ways-fetching water from the local stream or well, carting supplies around the farm. When even a few cents makes a meaningful difference in the income of a family, a mother and father must think carefully before making the sacrifice of committing a child to continued education.” By offering a scholarship program to those families that helps to cover those incidental costs, more children are able to participate in continuing education in Bangladesh.

Although the poverty that we deal with in the United States may appear different to the struggles of those families in Bangladesh, we still struggle to help families help their children get the education they need. Families here in the United States deal with similar decisions related to the cost of education and related to the hidden cost of losing an income generator. Children here need the same opportunities to have access to the funds and resources that they need to further their education. In Bangladesh the struggle was getting children of primary school. Here in the United States we struggle getting kids to college. We lose too many kids because they do not have the resources to cover the costs associated with higher education. What is equally as tragic is the fact that many of these potential college students don't further their education because they don't know that they have access to opportunities. That they have resources that will allow them to receive the support and funding that they need to further their education. There is great safety that comes from education.

In my own family, education played an important role in overcoming the poverty that existed in our country during the Great Depression. My grandfather was able to receive a college education and become a teacher following his service in World War II because he was able to access funding through a G.I. Bill. I am also personally grateful that he was able to receive an education because it was where he met my grandmother. It is amazing to see the impact that education continues to have in the lives of my family members. My grandfather went from being a poor boy on a farm in Arizona who didn't have shoes because they couldn't afford them to being a successful school teacher in Oregon. Amazing as that is, the picture becomes more vibrant when you look at the subsequent generations. My father was able to go on and receive a PhD in engineering. His siblings not only went to college but received masters and doctorates in their various fields of studies. And I'm grateful to say that I was able to make it through law school because of their sacrifice and dedication to family. Education has great power and that power increases from generation to generation.

As stated earlier the second analogy that I would like to illustrate is the impact of education in helping us determine the best course for our lives. Former Sec. Gen. of the United Nations, Kofi Annan said, “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” and “Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.” Education offers to each of us the opportunity to not only learn arithmetic, grammar, fact and figures. Education is a great key with which each and every one of us can unlock potentially limitless potential. Therefore it is not just that we learned to read, but it instead becomes the vehicle or the tool with which we read good books. We are able to engage literature or use arithmetic in order to better our own lives as well as the communities in which we live.

Every child in our community should have the opportunity of receiving the education that they desire. Whether it's a scrawny little boy in Minnesota falling out of trees, the son of a single mother that lives down the street or the kid that they thought would never amount to anything. They need to know that they can do it. I need to know how they can do it. Let make sure that the kids in our community are able to keep climbing those trees. What a great opportunity it is for you and for me to support access to education in our community. Thank you.

Robert Rogers and Nonprofit Involvement

Robert Rogers currently sits on the board of directors for two nonprofits: Heroes Unite, Inc. and Partners for Self-Employment, Inc. Summaries of the organizations are as follows:

Heroes Unite, Inc: By "making dreams real," the mission of Heroes Unite is to uphold the rights of all children to participate in a safe, nurturing environment utilizing the disciplines of art and culture as foundations for a holistic education. We promote community and parental engagement, mentoring, volunteerism, and leadership, creating pathways of improved communication, opportunity and hope. We aim to strengthen at risk children and their families and foster protective factors against substance abuse, delinquency, anti-social behaviors, low self-esteem, and violence through unique programming and best practices. Robert Rogers currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Partners for Self-Employment, Inc: Founded in 1993, Partners for Self-Employment, Inc., previously referred to as Micro-Business, USA is a Miami-based, private non-profit 501 C 3 tax-exempt Florida Corporation, whose mission is to support the accumulation of assets and the financial self-sufficiency of low-income families by providing opportunities to make, borrow, save, and manage money.

Need Help With Your Community Event?

Robert Rogers, Managing Attorney
Robert Rogers Law Firm, PA
1200 Brickell Avenue #860
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 1-786-220-0779
Fax: 1-305-397-1189
Email: robert.rogers@corallaw.com
Licensed to practice law in the state of Florida