The Titan Games: Exodus Rogers works for change in his community

THE TITAN GAMES -- Season: 2 -- Contenders -- Pictured: Exodus Rogers -- (Photo by: Danny Ventrella/NBC)
THE TITAN GAMES -- Season: 2 -- Contenders -- Pictured: Exodus Rogers -- (Photo by: Danny Ventrella/NBC) /

The Titan Games star Exodus Rogers is also a youth probation officer.

In this week’s episode of The Titan Games, Exodus Rogers will take on an incredible challenge. But his biggest accomplishment isn’t what he’s doing on the NBC series—it’s the work he’s doing as a law enforcement officer in his hometown.

Exodus works as a deputy probation assistant at the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility. His public service is even more meaningful because he grew up in Sacramento, so he’s making a difference in the very same community where he was raised.

Precinct TV spoke with him ahead of his Titan Games debut to talk about working in the juvenile justice system, what he’s learned from his career, and why competing on reality TV is another way for him to spread a positive message.

Meet Exodus Rogers in our interview below, then tune in to NBC tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT to see him compete in The Titan Games season 2.

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Precinct TV: What led you to enter the law enforcement field originally?

Exodus Rogers: I wanted to go into the military, but unfortunately due to some birth defects, they wouldn’t allow me to. So I just went up and down the totem pole, trying to find my niche.

I found probation, so I was actually working with children, which I have a long history of doing so. I worked with mental health hospitals where adolescent kids are housed. And I just fell in love with it.

PTV: You’re working in your hometown. What is it like to be able to make an impact in a place that means so much to you personally?

ER: It’s so cool. It’s such a phenomenal feeling because I know that every day when I show up to work—which doesn’t even really feel like work—I’m giving back to my community where I grew up. I have the same opportunity to mold the kids that I work with. I’m from the same neighborhood that they grew up in, so I can relate on that level, and so it really makes my profession fulfilling for me, and for the kids as well.

PTV: The juvenile justice field is not the same as the adult justice system. Is there anything about your profession that you want people to have a greater awareness of?

ER: When people are unknowing with my line of work, they may hear detention facility or juvenile hall [and] automatically go to a dark place where it’s a detention facility, like an institution style. But we’re one of the biggest facilities in the nation, and we’ve been nationally recognized for our programs.

A lot of people don’t know that we have a Boys and Girls Club inside the facility. We have a garden, we have a swimming pool, we have culinary classes, we have college courses. It’s not so much a detention facility or a jail; it’s more of a boarding school. These kids come in from the streets, they come in from very poor backgrounds and not a lot of support, but when they come to us and they leave, they leave with something tangible that they can give back to the community themselves. They’re learning trades and skills that they probably wouldn’t learn when they’re on the outside, doing what they’re doing.

We have kids that come back; it’s an uphill battle. So people like myself continue to fight this battle, and if I could just save one or two, I’m satisfied, but it keeps me going. Our facility is a special one. I’ve never experienced anything like it. We really take our time to get to know these kids and instill valuable qualities in them.

PTV: Your work in probation requires problem-solving, among other skills. So did any of your skill set carry over to your The Titan Games season 2 appearance?

ER: My job is big on critical thinking, so when the obstacles were produced to us, I instantly went to a critical thinking zone. I’m like okay, I need to attack this obstacle like such. A lot of the time during the event I had to think on my toes, and that plays a big role in my job as well, because my job is unpredictable [and] the kids are unpredictable.

If they’re having a bad time, we have to be able to think on our toes in order to stop whatever behavior is going on, or de-escalate the situation. My training in my profession really helped with the show and the competition.

PTV: Conversely, was there a particular challenge for you in doing the show?

ER: The biggest challenge for me is I’m a perfectionist. I have a bad habit of overworking myself, and that translated to the competition as well. I was working out the day before the competition, when I really should [have been] resting. I wasn’t nervous as far as the TV aspect goes, because honestly, I felt like I belonged there. I felt very comfortable because I was like, I can compete with these top-tier athletes.

I actually really liked the crowd. I liked the TV aspect. The interviews took some getting used to because I’d never experienced it before, and I’m like oh, this is how it works in these competitions. But that was cool; I adapted really quick to that. The biggest challenge for me was just getting to sleep at night, because I was so anxious to compete.

PTV: Did you take anything from The Titan Games back as a probation officer? Anything that you were able to pass on to the kids you work with?

ER: A lot of kids asked me questions. because they watch TV shows. For example, they’re watching the show and I’m like hey, before all this is going on, we’re doing makeup, we’re doing interviews. This entrance probably got shot about 20 times…I was able to provide them a lot of behind the scenes information from the show that they wouldn’t know about.

And I I met people from all sorts of training backgrounds. So I learned new things myself. I’ve been doing fitness for years now and it’s a big world. It’s a lot of information to soak up. Nobody knows everything. Everybody is learning something new all the time, including myself. I was able to take some things from everybody that I met, bring them back to the kids, and show them.

A lot of them, they look at me like I’m a role model for them. They come to me for all their questions and all the answers like I know everything, and I don’t, but they know I’ve been around, so it’s just cool to be able to give back to them in that way. An experience that they may never experience, they can experience through me. Whenever they do get on that platform, if they do get on that platform, then they’ll know this is how it is because Exodus Rogers did this.

PTV: What will you remember most from being on The Titan Games?

ER: It’s sparked a fire in myself to open up my own training facility. It’s driven me to do more. I had a little taste of entertainment, and these new styles of training, and I’m like, I can do that. I want to do that. I want to give back. I want to help people get healthier. I want to help the youth in this way—more than just being in a detention facility.

Sacramento, it’s like Reno. It’s the biggest little city in California. I want to be able to give back to my community more, so I’m going to start my own training facility. That’s going to be a new venture for me, and we’ll see how it goes.

Next. Bartley Weaver IV goes from state trooper to Titan Games. dark

The Titan Games airs Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.