FL Man Converts Crime-Ridden Hood Into Youth Haven: Provides Preschool, Full College Tuition For H. S. Grads AND MORE!
In 1993, after making millions in the hotel industry, Harris Rosen “adopted” a run-down, drug-infested park and turned it into a haven for local children. He offers free preschool for all children prior to kindergarten and full college scholarships for high school graduates. Not surprisingly the high school graduation rate in Tangelo Park has gone from 25% too 100%. Of those that go on to four-year schools their higher education graduation rate is 77%.
Because education made such a huge impact on his own life Rosen wanted to give something back–or pay it forward, depending on how you look at it. In addition to free preschool for children aged 2-4 he offers–at no cost to the parents–parenting classes, vocational courses and technical training.
Harry Rosen also provided the financing for Tangelo Park Elementary School.
Today, the high school graduation rate for Tangelo Park is 100 percent. And no, that is not a typo.
Harry Rosen like to keep things simple: This program was developed by FOUR people over the course of ONE hour.
For every student that graduates high school and is subsequently accepted into a Florida public university, community or state college–or even a vocational school–they are eligible for a FULL Harris Rosen Foundation Scholarship.
After spending $9 million on his adopted neighborhood of 2,500 residents, Rosen was asked if the program has a stopping point.
“I will be involved in the program until Tangelo Park is a gated community and the average home is selling for $1 million. Then I’m gone.”
Not surprisingly, Harris Rosen was honored with the 2011 National Philanthropy Day Lifetime Achievement Award. He says that his return on his investment is not monetary, it’s seeing the mothers and father and children and community flourish.
If you would like to donate to the Tangelo Park Program you may do so by clicking here.
ABOUT HARRIS ROSEN
Harris Rosen’s father worked as a safety engineer and a calligrapher in the banquet department of a the Waldorf Astoria Hotel when he was a child. His father would make the place cards for the events taking place at the hotel. He would first draw everything in pencil and then finish them with a fine pen and Indian ink. He would then pay Harris one penny each to erase the pencil, fold the cards and alphabetize them. And that’s how he got his start in the hotel industry.
Harris was born in New York City in 1939 and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in 1961. After college he served in the United States Army in Germany and South Korea. When he returned he got a job as Director of Hotel Operations with the Post Company and later joined Disney Resorts as the Director of Hotel Planning where, after building their Contemporary, Polynesian and Fort Wilderness resorts, they fired him. Told him that they didn’t ever see him being a real “company man”. That was 1974
With that he withdrew the last $20,000 of his savings and bought a Quality Inn on International Drive in Orlando where, 38 years later, his offices still are to this day. As of 2011 Rosen Hotels and Resorts administered 6300 hotel rooms, employed 3500 people and was valued at over $500million dollars.
Veruca | Co-Founder | The Everlasting GOP Stoppers
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