Harris Rosen grew up poor, on the tough streets of New York City in the Bowery, near the Fulton Fish Market. Harris Rosen had a mother who encouraged him and pointed him in the right direction. Harris did the rest, with a little help from God.
Today Harris Rosen is the chief executive officer of Rosen Hotels and Resorts. He’s also a multimillionaire. And, he’s also who we should all grow up to be.
The neighborhood that Rosen adopted, Tangelo Park, was a rack when Rosen found it. 800 mostly black families lived in the neighborhood, and the things that stood out in Tangelo Park were drug trafficking, prostitution, and unsafe streets. The high school graduation rate was 25% the college graduation rate was zero because no one from Tangelo Park went to college.
Harris Rosen brought hope to Tangelo Park.
Nineteen years later the high school graduation rate is 100% and the college graduation rate is 75%. Harris Rosen committed to paying for the education of every high school graduate in the neighborhood. Tuition, room, board, books, and travel. There are no hoops to go through and no strings attached.
In those 19 years 200 Tangelo Park students have graduated from college, the crime rate in the neighborhood is down by more than 50% and people are actually moving into the neighborhood. The once raw and dangerous streets of Tangelo Park are now safer than some affluent suburbs in the area.
Harris Rosen is not resting on his laurels, he’s committed to staying in Tangelo Park “… until it’s a gated community and the average home sells for $1 million.” He’s also moving on, and he’s announced that he’s starting a similar program in the community of Parramore.
Harris Rosen’s dream is to “encourage others to replicate it.”
“My dream is that every underserved community would have a Tangelo Park Program,” he said. “I can’t even imagine what … change would occur, what positive change would occur.”
Thank you Harris Rosen.
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