By Cheyenne Derksen Schroeder
McPherson Sentinel – March 22, 2017
Brandon Rogers doesn't have much time left, but he plans to use that time to benefit others.
Rogers has fought glioblastoma, a brain tumor, for over a year. The Lindsborg resident works in the information technology department for USD 400, is a volunteer firefighter for the Lindsborg Fire Department, and is also a member of the local McPherson Masonic Lodge.
With wife Nikie and their two young children, the Rogers family plans to establish the Brandon Rogers Technology Scholarship, which will benefit a Smoky Valley High School student much like him.
"Brandon wasn't the best student in high school, but he sure changed that around in college. He wants to find someone like him to give a boost up," said Laurie Denk, colleague of Rogers' at Vision_Tek in Lindsborg. "He's generous with family, which he considered to be anyone in the Smoky Valley community. It will be a tremendous loss for all of us."
In January 2016, life was put on hold when Rogers was diagnosed with the cancerous tumor. Since then, he's undergone numerous treatments in Salina and Houston. After a slight regression, Rogers' tumor grew significantly and trial treatments were no longer an option, so the family is enjoying time together at home with less travel to treatments.
"It's a matter of days, so that's why we're pushing hard with this so he can see this scholarship in action," Denk said. "But instead of making this all horrible and about himself, he's using this situation to help someone else. That's Brandon."
Rogers graduated from Smoky Valley High School in 2002 and attended Fort Hays State University, where he started taking school seriously and received a degree in Internet, Telecommunications and Networking. Offering a similarly life-changing education is the purpose of the scholarship.
"The entire family is so appreciative of everything the community has done, and the community wants to do more, but Brandon really wants any other efforts to go toward this scholarship," said Glen Suppes, superintendent of USD 400. "He did a lot of reflecting on his journey and he wanted to help kids who were just like him. Not the straight-A kid, not the kids who could afford it, but the kids who need the financial assistance and show promise, both now and into the future."
The scholarship will be awarded to a Smoky Valley High School senior who plans to attend post-secondary education in the field of technology, shows promise in educational pursuits and displays a financial need.
"Nikie and the boys will present the scholarship each year as long as they can and they hope it will live on. She and school administration or teachers who know the students pretty well will choose the student, rather than looking at a piece of paper or an essay," Suppes said. "We'll always remember Brandon each year we present this scholarship."
The value of the scholarship will be determined after base donations are collected.
Donations may be sent to the Brandon Rogers Scholarship, USD 400 Central Office, 126 S. Main St., Lindsborg, KS 67456 or Brandon Rogers Fund, Bank of Tescott, 202 N. Main St., Lindsborg, KS 67456
Online contributions may be given at http://brandonrogers.smokyvalley.org.