09:23 AM

Not only protecting dreams, but building them, too


Stuart Rogers, marketing business operations director, led a fundraising effort with company leaders to build a school in an underdeveloped nation. On April 6 he was surprised with a trip to Ghana, where he’ll see the difference he helped make first-hand.


In January, Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools for children in underdeveloped countries, spoke to American Family leaders. Following Adam’s presentation, Stuart Rogers, marketing business operations director was so inspired he contacted Pencils of Promise, set up a fundraising page on their website, and recruited others to join the effort.

In less than 48 hours, company leaders had donated approximately $28,000, more than the $25,000 needed to build a school. American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation then matched the collective pledge with an additional $25,000.

“Thanks to Stuart and the American Family team, an entire community in Ghana will have a brand new school in which they'll have access to quality education - a fundamental human right,” says Michael Dougherty, CEO of Pencils of Promise. “American Family has changed a community of children for generations to come. We couldn't do this work without you.”

The dollars will result in the construction of a school in Ghana later this year, plus three years of educational materials. All was made possible because of Stuart’s inspiring and courageous act of kindness, entirely unprompted, that led to leaders' contributions and the Dreams Foundation’s match.

When Pencils of Promise builds a school it invites an individual from the fundraiser to go on an impact trip. In this case, it will be Stuart. The five-day trip will provide him an opportunity to see firsthand how the work of Pencils of Promise is changing these communities through the gift and power of education.

“I’m incredibly humbled,” says Stuart. “When a child has the opportunity to request anything in the world, and they request a pencil, you immediately feel compelled to act. This was never about me. It was about helping others. I’m so grateful for all of us who helped make it happen.”

Photo caption previous page: Stuart Rogers (centered) pictured with Jessie Stauffacher, American Family Insurance chief of staff vice president; and Judd Schemmel, American Family Insurance community investment director.

Photo caption this page: Stuart Rogers is surprised with a trip to Ghana by Jessie Stauffacher and Judd Schemmel.