Graduate's Success is By Design

The passion Maurice Rogers brings to his work comes from creativity, self-discovery and continuous growth. His genuine love for his craft shows up daily in his career as a graphic designer and photographer for Hampton City Schools (HCS).

“As the saying goes, ‘When you find a career doing something you love, you never work a day in your life.’ I get up with a passion to go to work, and I love my job. I love what I do. I get to create 24/7,” he said.

Rogers joined HCS in late 2020, bringing considerable experience from his multimedia graphic design business, Mavero Media. He launched the venture after completing his second associate degree at Virginia Peninsula Community College in 2005.

The freelance opportunities allow artistic exploration on projects ranging from video production and logos to book covers and billboards. His clients have not only included businesses. Former NBA players and national recording artists are also on his cleint list. It is gratifying work, which he jokingly said he would do for free.

“I get to drive down the street and see my work up on billboards in the city … see my work within Hampton City Schools,” he mused. “I think it really hit me one day when I drove by the Hampton Coliseum and saw my work on the marquee. It makes me smile.”

“It’s so cool to be able to create and just push myself design-wise, creatively,” added Rogers. “To be able to think of something and put it on paper, or to take someone's idea and bring it to life, those things inspire me.”

Although his work brings a lot of personal enjoyment, customer satisfaction is always Rogers’ main priority.

“To be able to enhance or elevate someone's idea, that's a big passion for me. Creatives have the ability to look at a blank canvas and see the final product. To have a gift like that is a blessing … to be able to use that to help someone elevate their business, elevate their brand, or just make somebody happy, those are things that inspire me,” he stressed.

While he cherishes working solo, Rogers thrives in the team environment HCS offers. A visual storyteller, he captures graduations, groundbreaking ceremonies, and the gamut – whether major events or day-to-day activities. Beyond the camera lens, he collaborates with the print shop, adding his touch to projects such as vibrant wall wraps in school hallways and other interior spaces that leave a lasting impression.

Rogers’ career choice was not accidental. He was influenced by his father, an artist who specializes in drawing. Fondness for all things superheroes and cartoons during childhood also inspired him to become a graphic artist. That fondness still fuels his imagination and creativity.

“I'm a superhero fanatic. I loved cartoons growing up. Being a kid, that kind of artistry first caught my eye,” he said. “I wanted to do comic book drawing, animation … cartoons. I designed my own collection of superheroes over the years. That's what I wanted to lean into. I wanted to do that for the rest of my life. I took fine arts drawing all throughout high school and developed more and more of a love for it.”

Graduating from Hampton High School in 1998, Rogers chose VPCC for its relevant degree programs and proximity to home. He earned his first associate degree in 2003. A Fine Arts degree, it piqued his desire to expand his skills, and led him to pursue the computer arts degree he ultimately earned.

“All the skill sets I learned from (VPCC), I get to incorporate in my role with Hampton City Schools,” he emphasized, noting the structured environment, deadline-based projects, and collaborative experiences at the College were invaluable.

Before landing his HCS position, Rogers had taken a break from higher education. He spent more than 10 years as a field technician with Cox Cable while still running Mavero Media. He continued growing his creative skills but wanted to further his education. At his father’s urging, he enrolled at Florida-based Full Sail University and earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2018.

Rogers, reflecting on his time at VPCC, highlighted the supportive community where fearless exploration was encouraged.

“I remember when I was doing the Fine Arts program. I had tunnel vision … was locked in with the mindset, ‘I'm going to be an animator. I'm going to make comic books.’ I still remember my adviser, Mr. Waters, asked, ‘Have you tried graphic design?’ I didn’t even know what that was,” recalled Rogers.

“I ended up taking one class and fell in love... So being at (VPCC) literally helped me find my lifelong career path. It opened up a whole new avenue to design and art that I never knew existed,” he added, recalling the nurturing environment provided by mentors, including his adviser at the time and faculty members Cece Wheeler and Pam Bromley.

Rogers believes staying connected to the College is a must with all he has gained from his student experience. He volunteers with the athletics program, contributing graphic designs to celebrate achievements and promote programs and events. His efforts in the past two years are a meaningful way for Rogers to give back.

Outside of work, Rogers is a youth minister and musician at Strait Gate Deliverance Center in Hampton, where his father is the pastor. Despite a time-consuming career and ministry commitments, Rogers makes time for other interests. He’s a sports enthusiast, Superman memorabilia collector, and a gospel recording artist. His group, Maurice Rogers and Chosen, released their debut album in 2022.

Rogers attributes his success to the support of his parents (Jerome and Joan Rogers), four siblings (Jerome Jr., Jackie, Erica and Michelle), nieces, nephews, and a close circle of family and friends.

Looking ahead with no intentions of slowing down, Rogers wants to continue honing his skills as an HCS storyteller and will stay focused on growing his business. He may one day pursue a master's degree as well.