Why do you do what you do? What continually motivates you to stay in this work?
Playworks is a phenomenal organization that delivers evidence-based services to school districts and youth-serving organizations to help improve the school climate and culture for its partners. Additionally, those services are feeding into a much larger social change movement to reach 3.5 million children by December 2020 with safe and healthy play. Being a part of a movement is inspiring and challenging, which keeps me motivated to stay in the work. Play is a universally accessible tool to children and adults, has the power to bring out the best in everyone and it is an honor for me to share it with others.
What factors allow you to succeed in your role?
I think movement building or systems change work is always going to be a bit like swimming up stream. There are inherent challenges and resistance in change. Possessing grit, passion and perseverance are key to being successful in any role. I also think hard work and a strong work ethic are paramount to success as a leader in any role.
What does being a strong community partner mean to you? How do you live that out through your work?
Being a strong community partner means that we are dependable, we put integrity and transparency first, and that we assume positive intent when interacting with our donors, customers and the kids and grown ups we serve. It means we are accountable and willing to take responsibility for our actions. I live this out through my work by using Playworks' core values of Respect, Inclusion, Healthy Play and Healthy Community as the benchmark for all of our decisions. Our culture matches our mission and we strive to be a mirror for how we want to imagine the world around us. For example, if we are asking schools to prioritize play and recess then we must do that for ourselves. Therefore, we hold recess in our office a number of times a week and schedule time outside of the office regularly to play together.
Angela Rogensues currently serves as the executive director of Playworks Michigan. Playworks partners with schools, districts, and youth-serving organizations to provide on-site coaches, consultative services and professional development training. Angela believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid.
Since joining Playworks Michigan as program director in 2012, Angela has increased program impact by 38 percent, reaching 17,000 children in the 2017-2018 school year. She was promoted to executive director in 2015 and has increased revenue by 64 percent. Angela is a recipient of many notable awards. She was most recently named one of Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40.” Previously, she was named one of DePaul University’s “Success Stories: 14 Under 40 Alumni”, a recipient of the “35 Under 35 Leadership Award” presented by the Community Renewal Society of Chicago, and appointed by the then Mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daly as a member of the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Women. Rogensues is a current board member for the Founder’s Junior Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts and a founding board member for the Detroit chapter of Women in Sports and Events.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts from DePaul University.