Minnesota Guardsman's Legacy Lives On Through Scholarship

David Schuman spoke to the man’s family as they presented a scholarship in his name to two remarkable students from his alma mater (1:59). WCCO 4 News At 6 - May 19, 2021

Video Transcript

- A Minister of National Guardsmen legacy is living on after his tragic death in 2019. David Schuman spoke to the man's family today as they presented a scholarship in his name to two remarkable students from his alma mater.

DAVID SCHUMAN: School isn't everyone's strength, but you never say that about James Rogers.

CANDIS FOLKENS: He was a huge nerd. I mean, growing up together, he was always getting the A's.

DAVID SCHUMAN: Education was a pillar in James's life along with service. When he graduated from St. James High School, he enrolled at St. Cloud State before being deployed to Kuwait and Iraq with the National Guard.

BETH ROGERS: He was very driven to go and do more, like with his wife.

DAVID SCHUMAN: Shortly after earning his degree in 2019, James died in a tragic Black Hawk helicopter crash that killed two other guardsmen as well.

CANDIS FOLKENS: It doesn't get easier. It feels like it was today.


DAVID SCHUMAN: Flash forward about a year and a half, James's family has found a way to turn their tragedy into hope for someone else, an outlet for their love for him, the James Rogers Memorial Scholarship.

CANDIS FOLKENS: What we're looking for is the next James. And when I say that, we are looking for a well-rounded individual. We're looking for someone that has a work ethic and can dream big.

- And he just lit up every room he walked into.

DAVID SCHUMAN: St. James's principal was one of James's teachers.

KARLA BECK: When Jim, James dad, reached out to me and said, we would like to start this scholarship, I have to admit I had a little tear because it is just a wonderful tribute.

DAVID SCHUMAN: Beth Rogers says her son James was a role model to her, and she looked on proudly, Tuesday, as her daughter and James's sister, Candis, awarded his inaugural scholarship.

BETH ROGERS: And to be able to help someone else, you know, on their career, it's a wonderful thing.

DAVID SCHUMAN: In St. James, David Schuman, WCCO 4 News.

- Each student received $1,000 with the scholarship. The family hopes to expand it to more Minnesota High Schools in the future.