New Hogan Family Scholarship Fund Seeks to Engage Students Traditionally Left Out
Nate Hogan is on a mission. Immediately following graduation this summer, the Bloch Executive MBA alum launched a barrier-free scholarship fund. The Hogan Family Scholarship Fund is designed to engage students traditionally left out of funding opportunities because of test scores or grades.
By any measure, Hogan is a tremendously successful person. He grew his career from the ground up, first in banking and then at Cerner, before stepping into the role of Vice President of Healthcare Solutions with Tyler Technologies last year. Hogan also serves as the Board Chair for Kansas City Public Schools and serves on the finance committee and board with the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. Though Hogan is doing well now, his performance in high school would not have been an accurate predictor of the success he has achieved.
The first part of Hogan’s life was extremely difficult. He went to eight different schools – three in seventh grade alone. One of his sisters was lost to violence, his grandmother passed away, and his parents divorced, all within about a year of each other. Hogan struggled emotionally, socially, and academically. “I just lost interest in school, started skipping class, and my grades were terrible,” he explains. Then, when Hogan was 19, he lost his father to violence.
It was a rough start, but things started to turn around when he met Felecia. “For me, marrying an incredible woman who is my partner in everything I do, and surrounding myself with family and friends who allow me to be my authentic self, have been important ways to fight through the tough stuff,” said Hogan. “More recently though, I’ve decided to engage a therapist to help me find personal strategies that will allow me to dig deep and deal directly with the trauma that I’ve endured throughout my life.”
In 2018, Hogan decided to run for school board because he knew that his story wasn’t unique. “Each of our students and their families have experienced a lot of the same things I have. Many of our teachers, administrators and support staff also have similar stories. And even if they don’t, the last year and a half have taken a toll on all of us, in different ways.” Hogan’s service on the board has allowed him to gain deeper insight into the wide range of challenges students face and the barriers they encounter as they endeavor to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Hogan and his wife, Felecia, Senior Vice President and Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Commerce Bank, have several goals for the scholarship. Initially and foremost is to ensure no student of color misses out on higher education funding based on how their potential was measured during a brief moment of their youth. They also hope that, “as students receive these barrier-free scholarships and successfully complete their college journeys, higher education institutions will begin to focus more on what our students can accomplish and less on test scores and grades,” which Hogan believes are imperfect measures of potential.
“We know that $8,000 won’t go far, but our goal is to expand the fund to more students every year – and you have to start somewhere!”
The scholarships will be administered by Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City and will go to students of color who graduate from Kansas City Public Schools and intend to major in business at the Bloch School. There are no GPA or standardized test score requirements to be eligible for the scholarship, but an essay is required. (Standard requirements for admissions into the students’ chosen program of study still apply).
Contribute to the Scholarship Fund
Donate by credit/debit/PayPal:
Visit the donation page for the Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City
If paying pay credit/debit/PayPal, add a note designating your donation for: Hogan Family Black Achievers Society Business Scholarship
Donate by sending a check to:
Black Achievers Society of Greater Kansas City
P.O. Box 411473
Kansas City, MO 64141
If paying by check, note on the check memo line: Hogan Family Black Achievers Society Business Scholarship