Johnny Rodgers Career and Technical Education Scholarships at Metropolitan Community College Foundation assist low- income and first generation students entering the career and technical trades programs at Metropolitan Community College.

Metropolitan Community College academic programs offer a wide range of career options within the skilled trades to prepare students for entry-level employment and advancement opportunities as technical professionals in a wide variety of industries. Training options range from a single course to a two-year associate degree, as well as apprenticeship training programs.

Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable and quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, Metropolitan Community College has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second largest post secondary institution in the state. Metropolitan Community College serves more than 50,000 students annually.


In the past eight years, the Jet Award Gala and Award Ceremony has grown substantially!  It has evolved from an event that recognizes and celebrates the best college football return specialist to an event that also gives back to the community, thanks to your assistance and participation.
To date, over $100,000 has been raised from the proceeds of this event to support scholarships for students attending Metropolitan Community College. These students are primarily enrolled in the trades and career programs.
Currently, the results show that over 80 students are attending MCC as a Johnny Rodgers Scholarship recipient. The students are enrolled in Construction, Heath, IT, Automotive and others with an average GPA of 3.0.
The Johnny Rodgers Scholarship initiative is truly a “game changer” for these students.  It will continue to move individuals from potentially a minimum wage job to an actual career with benefits.  They will be given an opportunity to improve their quality of life and to contribute to our economy in a very meaningful way.  The return on your investment will be significant in helping meet the workforce needs of the greater Omaha Metropolitan area.A quote by Tim“By empowering people through education, we create stronger individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities to live, work and play.”
Tim Clark
Manager of Community Relations
Metropolitan Community College


 It is said that life has a way of duplicating itself and if you’re lucky you might hang around long enough to see it. Such is the case of two former Omaha Technical High School graduates who were raised in North Omaha and whose hearts have never left there. Johnny Rodgers and Kathy J. Trotter are lifelong classmates and forever friends. You can feel the kinship when they are around one another.

Life and happenstance put them together during the late sixties at Tech High School.  Now a thriving community college in Omaha, Nebraska has allowed life to duplicate itself, bringing these two genuine, caring people to the crest of a great crusade. Johnny Rodgers has come full circle in his life and so has Kathy J. Trotter.  Now they are together again in an effort to open opportunities through trade initiatives fueled by Johnny’s celebrity and Kathy’s diligence.

For years he has kept ready in his mind the need to replace the educational trade gap left in the early 80’s when Omaha Technical High School was closed. However, for Kathy J. Trotter it has never mattered what venues closed, opened or who came in or left the educational world. She’s never been one to stand around waiting for things to happen. She’s always that leader who ventures out each day in an effort to make things happen.  When she walks into a room you know she has arrived. If she serves on a committee you know she’s there.  If there’s work to be done you know she’ll do it.

She was born Kathy Jeannette Trotter during the hottest days of the Omaha calendar. That fire she was born into has never left her. From birth she was brought to North Omaha and like a soldier standing guard she has never left. One summer at the tender age of 15 she served as a teacher’s aide in a contest that earned her $2.00 for being the best there. That single event sent her on an educational march… Technical High School graduate, University of Nebraska Bachelor’s Degree, University of Omaha Masters and back to Lincoln for her Specialist Degree and it continues to this day.  Her life has been dedicated to promoting, serving and teaching our youth.  She has served as educator, vice principal and principal of both public and private schools. Currently she is the coordinator of single parent homemaker services with Metropolitan Community College. She is loyal, dedicated and will run you over if you’re in the way of her helping students.

Even as this writing began she took the interview amidst a busload of fifty-three young African American students on their way to visit several historic black colleges and universities. A trip she has taken for the past thirty-five years, all in the name of helping students.

A proud parent of one child, she has a thousand kids that see her as a mother and she guides and cares for them as if she was. She has worked for, been a member of and has been recognized by countless groups and organizations, nearly all the time as a volunteer. Always giving, she now finds herself poised to reach even higher in her efforts to help students seeking to gain education through trade.  For Kathy, through the Metropolitan Community College Foundation is a God sent opportunity both for those who give and receive.

The scholarships will set off a chain reaction that could eventually fund, in many cases, the entire college tuition of a student seeking careers in the technical trades at Metropolitan Community College. These scholarships will target students designated as graduates of Omaha Public Schools with funds generated by The Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers National College Football Return Specialist Award Gala.

On behalf of The Jet Award Team we are proud to be a part of such a wonderful and humane effort on the part of all involved. However, we feel even more proud and secure to know that Kathy J. Trotter is the chairperson that oversees this monumental and unprecedented undertaking.


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