Meet Your Neighbor: Life is full for Rogers thanks to exchange students

Daron and Angel Rogers

 

Name: Angel Rogers

Age: I’ve cleverly disguised myself as a responsible adult.

Town/Neighborhood: Queen Creek

When & why I moved here: Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in Arizona, Kentucky, Texas and Wisconsin.

My family: We are a family of seven with five children ages 8-19. My husband, Daron, and I have been married for 20 years. We also own a roadside assistance business.

My interests and hobbies: I enjoy being with my family, hiking, portrait and art photography, travel, working with my exchange students and anything with horses.

The traits I admire in others: Honesty, integrity, people who encourage and uplift others.

What I like most about living here: Mountains, endless outdoor activities, family nearby and the heat.

Changes I’d like to see in this area: I would like to see more arts and culture out here along within San Tan Valley.

What I do: I work part-time as a community representative for Ayusa, a nonprofit exchange student organization. I find families who have an interest in other cultures and opening their home to a teenager from a different country. The student arrives and attends the local high school while living with their host family for either a semester or an academic year. I am the person who helps the family with their application and is the counselor, friend, coordinator and mediator for both host family and student while the student is in the U.S.

How and when did you get involved with Ayusa? In 2001. We had been looking into foreign adoptions as something to consider for the future. At that time, we had a 2-year-old and a 6=month-old. I happened to meet a representative of Ayusa within the week and both my husband and I were hooked on the thought of hosting. The following year, I became an employee of Ayusa.

How many students have you hosted? What were their ages and from countries did they come? We have hosted four students. Our first one, Tita, 16, was from Taiwan. She stayed with us for 10 months for the 2001-02 school year. The following year, we hosted Rozemarijn, 17, from The Netherlands for 11 months. We then hosted Alejandro, 17, from Colombia for two weeks during winter break in 2008. Our last student was Rose, 16, from Germany in 2012.

What have the students taught you? They have really opened my eyes to the world and the beauty of all people and cultures. They have taught me courage, ambition and hope for peace through understanding. It also helped me realize that teenagers are the same all over the world.

What I like most about what I do: I love working with the generous families who are excited to give back and open their home to these students. I love seeing the excitement of the students and host families when the student finally arrives at the airport a week before school begins, and seeing how the student impacts the community, school and host family while they are here.

My guiding philosophy: It changes and morphs as life changes. Right now, it is to find something that inspires me and take that leap. I feel many people go through life not challenging themselves because of fear of failure. If I can use a quote by H. Jackson Brown Jr., from his book “P.S. I Love you,” Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Editor’s note: Are you a Queen Creek resident? The Queen Creek Independent would like to spotlight you or a person you’d like to nominate in our Meet the Neighbor feature. To learn more, e-mail qcnews@newszap.com.

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