Bill Rogers has taken a long, noble and deliberate path from his humble rural origins outside of Kakata, Liberia, to help the underprivileged youth of his country. This journey has included many exciting and rewarding stops along the way, including his life as a professional Olympic track and field runner in Africa, to his formal college education and work as a sports performance trainer and physical therapist in America. The most important overriding goal and destination for Bill Rogers, however, is to utilize all that he has learned and return home to make a difference. This is why he founded the Bill Rogers Youth Foundation, an organization that seeks to ultimately transform young lives through athletic participation and achievement, as well as through fundamental schooling and life guidance.
Born in September 1985, Bill grew up in the forested outer reaches of western coastal Liberia. Raised lovingly with four brothers and one sister by diligent, though uneducated parents, at an early age, Bill decided to strike out, learn more and see further than the meager means that were immediately available to him. At this time, the traumatic Liberian Civil War broke out, which affected Bill strongly. At age 7, his parents divorced, leaving his mother to take care of the entire family alone. As the oldest sibling, Bill began to grow into a leader at home. But to become a leader out in the world, he would have to first understand what it meant to be an integral part of a team with a collective goal in mind.
After seeing a group of professional track and field athletes run through his town, he eagerly trailed alongside them, immediately receiving encouragement from their coach to pursue athletics. In his early formative years, Bill lived with several relatives away from his brothers and sisters. At age 11, Bill entered public school for the first time. There, he soon participated in soccer, as well as track and field. He had a lot to catch up with academically, however. Always funny and outgoing, Bill made friends with a classmate named Sayé, who provided him food and some insights about learning. Bill also worked with a study tutor named Solo who taught Bill about written language and history. While initially behind several years in school, Bill finally caught up in his late teens.
Bill’s various athletic skills grew exponentially in his early teen years. He competed and placed in the World Youth Track and Field Championship in Hungary in 2001. Bill also became a double medal award-winner as an official competitor in the African Athletic Championship in Benin in early 2004. He competed and won several other track and field awards in Africa and Europe.
At age 18, Bill was chosen to train and become an official member of the Liberian Olympic track and field team in 2004. At this time, the dramatic political unrest in Liberia began to calm significantly, punctuated by the election of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a new, peaceful leadership body. This important passage in his life, along with his success in the 35th Annual IAAF World Cross Country Running Championship in Kenya in 2007, has placed him on the forefront of Liberian athletic history.
During this time between training, Bill began to pursue another life as a sports physical therapist. He trained and became a certified athletic trainer in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2003. But Bill’s vision took him further, this time to the United States. With the encouragement and help of previous Liberian Olympic track and field team member Dr. Grace-Ann Dinkins, Bill applied and was accepted to El Camino College in Torrance, California. He traveled over 7000 miles to begin his studies. Bill moved to El Paso, Texas for the following school year to study Kinesiology – Exercise Science. After winning a full athletic scholarship, Bill transferred to Huston-Tillotson University, where he eventually earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology – Human Performance as a top honor student in 2009. Bill acted as a student ambassador at Huston-Tillotson University and guided new students through their orientation and studies.
Bill soon earned several successive requisite certifications in Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Where he worked with high risk youth with rehabilitation, consulting programs through sports to reterigted into society. Bill also contributed his free time in over a dozen physical therapy facilities in both New Jersey and Texas, such as Tender Touch Rehabilitation, Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, and others. Bill also worked with the Catholic Charities Organization providing direct help for the homeless.
As an ASFA certified master professional personal fitness trainer, Bill Rogers specializes in cardiovascular wellness, muscular strength, endurance, body composition, flexibility and overall health improvement for his clients. Bill trains both professional athletes and therapy patients in and around greater Los Angeles, California.
He is currently a member of the Liberian International Athletic Foundation, where he organizes, coordinates and supervises a great number and variety of sporting activities for youths in several communities throughout the U.S. Now, Bill Rogers is poised to make a momentous return to Liberia and create a lasting impression amongst its youths and community with the establishment of the Bill Rogers Youth Foundation.
8/29/2011-Bill Rogers wins 10K marathon in Liberia
8/29/2011-Bill Rogers wins marathon in Liberia
8/29/2-11-Bill Rogers Runs Marathon
11/28/2009-Bill Rogers reaches out to Phoenix community
7/12/2004-Bill Rogers visits Liberian newspaper
6/17/2004-Bill Rogers threatens to boycott Olympic Games
It’s been a long run for our founder, Bill Rogers. The eldest of 4 children born into a village in Kakata, Liberia in 1985, Bill acquired leadership skills quite early. He decided to strike out on his own, wanting more than what his village had to offer him. He often saw professional track & field athletes run through the town and would eagerly trail beside them. He even received encouragement from their coaches to pursue athletics, but Bill had a major problem. Due to ‘a tragic accident at the hands of a person trying to do harm to him during his childhood. However, he did not allow this to stop him. He pursued track vehemently, going on to become a Liberian Olympic track star and earning a full athletic scholarship to pursue a BA in Kinesiology at Huston-Tillotson University. Bill did not allow his environment and physical setbacks to hold him back and does not want war, poverty or Ebola to hold the youth of Liberia back. He is ready to return home and give back through what he calls, sports for change.
Anthony Williams has been a concerned advocate and friend of Liberia since the late 1980’s. A student of the Liberian state, as well as its peoples and cultures, Williams met Bill Rogers in Austin, TX in 2012 and immediately pledged to help the BRYF in any way that he could. Williams worked as Marketing Director for the BRYF “Never Let a Drop Go To Waste” Gala in Dallas, TX in 2013. His background includes business management, as well as health and fitness. Williams has been a fitness health sales rep since 2013.