GLASGOW — When Katherine Rogers graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in political science and public relations in 2014, she had no clue what type of career she wanted to pursue.
The former Glasgow High School graduate aspired to do something with communications and politics, but she didn't really know where to focus her energy.
It just so happened at that same time, Kentucky's Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, was gearing up her U.S. Senate campaign.
“I just started volunteering on her campaign,” Rogers said on Thursday night when she spoke to the Barren County Democratic Party. “I went to a local coffee shop with one of the organizers and started making calls. I went and knocked on doors. I went and registered people to vote in Bowling Green and I also got people involved in Glasgow.”
She fell in love with what she was doing and was eventually hired as an organizer for Grimes' U.S. Senate campaign in Bowling Green. She later worked for the campaign in the greater western Kentucky area as a regional field director.
That job led to another one involving politics.
Through people she met working for Grimes she was offered a job working for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.
“I was excited,” she said, recalling how she felt when she got the call to join Clinton's campaign. “It was a friend that I had worked with on the Grimes campaign who called me and asked me to go up to New Hampshire. I was a little bit nervous, but I said. 'yes.' immediately.”
She wasn't exactly sure she knew what she was getting herself into by moving 17 and-a-half hours away from Glasgow, but she was excited to have the job.
Rogers started out working as an organizer, doing much of the same duties she did when she worked for the Grimes' campaign.
“I was an organizer for five months and then I became a regional organizing director. I moved across New Hampshire to do that,” she said.
She worked in a couple of different states during the 2016 primary and then she landed the position of deputy organizing director in New Hampshire for the general election.
By the end of the campaign, she was in a management position.
“I was managing other regional organization managers and just helping them solve their problems and hearing stories about the volunteers and people who were getting involved on the campaign,” she said. “It was really inspiring to me to talk them through those stories and listen to them and help them solve their problems and just to get to know the volunteers and the organizers.”
Her father, John Rogers, a Glasgow attorney, said he is excited about what his daughter was able to accomplish for the Clinton campaign and felt like her involvement helped make a difference in at least New Hampshire.
“They elected an entire all female, all Democrat congressional delegation there,” he said. “There's a lot of work that a lot of folks did up there and she was a part of that and we're very proud of her for that.”
Since Clinton's loss of the presidential race, Katherine Rogers has been taking some time to relax.
She recently returned from a trip to southeast Asia and has been talking to people about where she is going to go next.
“I still don't know for sure, but I'm keeping my options open. I definitely want to keep organizing, and will probably do another campaign,” she said, however, she declined to say which campaign she is considering.
Her mother, LaDonna Rogers, who is chair of the Barren County Democratic Party and chief of human resources at T.J. Samson Community Hospital, is also proud of her.
“I want to grow up and be like her,” her mother said. “She's done all the things that John and I both wanted to do all of our lives and we would never step outside the box to go and do it.”
As for the next step, LaDonna Rogers said she wants to see her daughter continue to fight for what she believes in.
“That's what she loves to do. People say they want their kids to make a lot of money. That's not her style. Her style is she wants to fight for things she believes in,” her mother said.
Katherine Rogers doesn't see herself seeking election to a public office anytime in the near future.
“Maybe one day in the very, very distant future,” she said. “I always say I would rather work for the candidates behind the scenes than actually be the candidate, but we'll see. I don't think so right now. I love organizing and I love working for the candidates so not any time soon.”
But if she did choose to run for a public office, her father said, “I would be excited if she wanted to, but I don't think she would. It would be exciting if it was something she was interested in doing. I would back her 100 percent.”