HBU Alumni are impacting Houston today and everyday, and we have many entrepreneurial alumni we could feature who are innovative, brilliant business man and women. Jess Rogers is a sample of the entrepreneurial spirit that is and will continue to be cultivated at this University. Read her story, which shows the development of dreams into realities.
Jess Rogers ’00, M.Ed ’02
“Bet big and you win big, but if you bet small, you never win big.” Alumna and entrepreneur Jess Rogers carries this advice in her pocket. It is advice she took to heart and poured into her thriving tutoring business: TutorVille.
Jess graduated from HBU with her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media and Speech Communications in 2000 and her Master of Education in 2002. After teaching middle school math for seven years, Jess had too many tutoring clients and began handing off new clients to her co-workers. She launched TutorVille in early 2009 when a good friend challenged her to start her own business.
Today, TutorVille serves over 800 students from Pre-K through graduate school. The tutoring service has also branched out into a flourishing independent learning academy, and plans are underway for a non-profit for students. Jess said one of the biggest challenges she faced was giving up tutoring to focus solely on growing TutorVille. “Moving away from my passion of working directly with children is hard,” Jess told The Pillars, “But, I get to see that impact expanded far beyond what I could do as one person.”
Jess thinks she may have a seven-year-itch: “I taught for seven years. I’ve had TutorVille for seven years, and now I am starting The TutorVille Foundation.”
“I am just so blessed that what I get to do everyday is change kids’ lives,” Jess said. With her passion and vision for teaching and for TutorVille’s students, Jess demonstrates the rewards that can come from walking by faith. Her advice for future entrepreneurs is a quote from her dad that hangs in her office: “If you want to be successful, drive home in the dark.”
— Jess Rogers
With the establishment of the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, visionary students will receive mentorship and guidance to help them succeed. We pray that our current and future students will be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, job providers and world changers.