Sarasota, FL– Children First, Inc., the non-profit organization serving as Sarasota County’s exclusive provider of Head Start, welcomes Jessica Rogers as the new Vice President of Philanthropy. Transitioning from one distinguished learning institution to another, Rogers comes to Children First from New College of Florida, the state’s designated honors college for the liberal arts and sciences. She will begin her new role at Children First, one of the top 1 percent of Head Start programs in the nation, on December 6.
As the leader of Children First’s philanthropy department, she will provide strategic direction for fundraising with the goal of expanding early childhood education and family services for our community’s most economically vulnerable children and families.
During her 11-year tenure at New College, she served as the associate vice president of advancement and associate director of the New College Foundation, acting as chief liaison with the New College Alumnae/i Association and its fundraising and engagement programs. She joined the college in July 2006 as executive director of the New College Alumnae/i Association after working in banking and, prior to that, nonprofit and teaching work within higher education.
“While Jessica’s skills, knowledge, and vibrant personality are clearly evident, it is the passion for and commitment to the Children First mission that truly shines through. We are delighted with her joining the Children First family in serving our community’s most vulnerable young children and their families,” said Children First President and CEO Philip Tavill.
While managing donor relations for the New College Foundation, Rogers developed philanthropic giving programs, serving as a leader in team fundraising efforts in securing over $36 million in outright and planned gifts since 2010.
“My time at New College has to date, been the most rewarding and challenging endeavor in my professional life. I will deeply miss working with my colleagues at the college and the foundation, our many board members, community friends and alums in helping to further New College’s mission. I am, at the same time, excited to be moving into a position where I can be of help to an organization that is also a leader in its area of expertise, providing a high level of support for children and families that most need it in our community,” said Rogers.
About Children First:
Founded in 1961 and designated as one of the top 10 Head Start programs in the country, out of 1,800 similar programs nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being. At 13 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, as well as nutrition and health care assistance, to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.