Courage for Kids is headed by Andrea Rodgers, a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience. The nonprofit is fueled by a passion for charity and making a positive impact. Rodgers received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University with a double major in Economics and Politics. Rodgers was hand-picked by Vogue magazine to be a founding member of The Vogue 100, a group of influential decision makers and opinion leaders known for their distinctive taste in fashion and culture, and who personify the rising influence of women over the past several decades.
Andrea is well known member of the philanthropic community in Washington DC, across the United States, and even internationally. She believes in the positive power of volunteering and charity — not only to benefit those less fortunate, but to improve the individual, business or brand that gives their time, money and energy to a cause.
In an effort to give back to her community after 9/11, Andrea became heavily involved in Washington’s charity circuit. She has served on numerous boards and committees, and volunteered with or partnered with many national and local charities including Corcoran Museum of Art, Junior League, American Red Cross, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Heart Association, Fight for Children, Bright Beginnings, CentroNia, House of Ruth, Campagna Center, and Susan G. Komen. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the AmeriCorps NCCC.
Andrea has a reputation for creativity and leadership skills. She created and co-founded three successful fundraisers which brought together her talent for corporate marketing, public relations and event execution with her love of nonprofit fundraising.
In 2005, she and Sara Allen Abbott created and co-founded Blondes vs. Brunettes a volunteer-driven event that engages young professionals in friendly but fierce flag football game. This third-party event has since grown nationwide and raised more than $5 million to date for Alzheimer’s Association. In April 2015, the event was rebranded as RivALZ to include other age-old rivalries, such as East vs. West, City vs. Suburbs, etc.
In 2006, Rodgers along with Keri Ann Meslar and Jennifer Faust co-founded The Courage Cup polo fundraiser to benefit Work to Ride. The Courage Cup was one of the largest polo events on the East Coast, and featured a day of exciting polo matches, featuring the talented kids of the Work to Ride program playing along with professional polo players and celebrities. There was also an annual Segway Polo Charity Challenge match. Based in Philadelphia’s inner city, the nonprofit provides kids with a positive outlet for their energy and an alternative to negative “street” activities. Participants develop discipline, responsibility, and life skills through horse sports and horse care and barn management chores. Polo has proven to be the perennial favorite of WTR youth. In addition to acquisition of life-skills, WTR also emphasizes the necessity of academic achievement. Staff and volunteers provide after school tutoring to help students maintain the passing grades required for program participation.
In 2007, she created and co-founded the Fashion for Paws modeling fundraiser which has raised more than $3 million to date for the Washington Humane Society. Serving as the events first Event Chair in 2007, Rodgers served as Committee Chair in 2008 and served on the host committee through 2010.
After the 2008 recession, Rodgers rebranded The Courage Cup nonprofit as Courage for Kids and launched the GIVE BACK-pack initiative to support homeless and at-risk youth closer to home in the greater Washington, DC area. The program has given thousands of children a backpack filled with school supplies to start kindergarten.
Andrea is President and CEO of Grace & Grit Marketing, a marketing and communications agency in Shelby, NC.
Andrea has been featured in various media outlets and publications such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, USA Today, Washington Post, Politico, Vogue, W, Allure, and others.