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Rogers Family Gives $1 Million to Help Former Homeless, Foster Care Students



Melodie Rogers presents a ceremonial $1 million check to Fresno State on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (Fresno State News)
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You might not know it from the headlines, but there are a lot of good people doing great things in this world.

Example A: The George and Melodie Rogers Foundation’s gift of $1 million to help Fresno State students who have been homeless or in foster care.

Gift Funds Summer Internships

The gift to the university’s Renaissance Scholars Programs will bring back summer internships lost in 2015 because of funding shortfalls. Now, the interns will earn a $2,400 stipend for their work.

University officials described the gift as “transformative.” The donation was announced on Friday during a celebration of George Rogers’ life.

“The experience our students will receive through these internships represents a unique opportunity of growth and belonging; exactly what they need to become the next generation of leaders,” said Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval.

About George Rogers

George Rogers, who died in February, founded and owned Fresno-based national staffing agency PrideStaff. He earned a business degree from Fresno State in 1971.

This contribution continues the Rogers family’s generosity to the community. Melodie Rogers said that this gift in her husband’s memory will help Renaissance Scholars realize their academic and life goals. Their foundation was founded in 2019.

Program’s Record of Success

Fresno State started Renaissance Scholars in 2008 to support students who were formerly in foster care or homeless. Among the services: admission assistance, counseling, and mentoring.

The year-to-year retention rate for Renaissance Scholars is 77%, and over 60% of graduates have pursued master’s or doctorate degrees, according to Fresno State. The Renaissance Scholars graduation rate is 53% — well above the national average for former foster youth.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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