Boys Town North Florida Development Specialist Gina Rogers takes pride in helping children and families. She recently had the opportunity to do both in speaking before the Florida Legislature's Children and Youth Cabinet.
Rogers began at Boys Town North Florida in January 2019 as an undergraduate intern while earning her bachelor's degree in social work. Since that initial role, she has served as the site's volunteer coordinator, as well as completing a second internship, this one employment-based, in the Boys Town Foster Family Services Program®. After completing her master's degree in social work in April 2021, she stepped into her current role.
In December of 2021, Rogers was elected Heart Gallery Big Bend President. The Heart Gallery Big Bend is a volunteer-run organization that aims to increase awareness in children seeking adoption by partnering with local photographers and telling these children's stories.
It was her involvement with Boys Town and that organization that gave her the opportunity to speak before the Florida Legislature's Children and Youth Cabinet.
“It was quite exhilarating to represent both the Heart Gallery and Boys Town North Florida in speaking before the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet," Rogers said. “My goal was to further educate the panel about the many children in our state and local areas desperately in need of permanent, loving families. It was an honor to speak before the panel and recognize members such as Shevaun Harris, the Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary, who visited Boys Town North Florida earlier in the year."
Rogers said her presentation felt exceptionally important because she was able to so do during National Adoption Month.
“I can't express how grateful I am to have had the privilege to represent Boys Town, The Heart Gallery, and the children we serve at the meeting," Rogers said. “After having experience in both the Boys Town Family Home ProgramSM, as well as the Foster Family Services Program, there is a significant overlap between children Boys Town serves and those the Heart Gallery represents. Having the opportunity to be any part of a child's journey to healing is rewarding. I hope to continue serving children and bringing them closer to their forever families."
Rogers said her ability to form a partnership with the Heart Gallery was also rewarding.
“This opportunity also was very impactful for the Heart Gallery to expand its reach and make individuals in the community aware of the many children needing permanency," she said.