Hope for Every Community
Harris Rosen has been a staple of the Orlando hotel scene for more than 40 years, yet locals don’t recognize him as much for his success as a hotelier. Neither do they recognize him as one of the top 50 Most Powerful People named by Orlando Magazine. Most know Harris Rosen for his service to the community.
Mr. Rosen knows the struggles an underserved community suffer. He grew up in Hell’s Kitchen in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. With his life experiences and bootstrap attitude, he uses his resources to give back to those in need, mainly through the Harris Rosen Foundation. The foundation and Rosen employees participate in a myriad of charity events. Donations from the Harris Rosen Foundation help make it possible for so many to experience a better quality of life.
In 1993, Mr. Rosen met with Tangelo Park community leaders and the Orange County School Board superintendent. Rosen offered college scholarships to young residents who graduated from Tangelo Park’s high school. This rough urban neighborhood had been struggling with poverty and crime since the late 1980s. 25 years after starting the program, Rosen’s scholarship program reformed the community. High school graduation rates rose from 45 to 99 percent and crime has dropped by 60 percent.
On the collegiate level, the Tangelo Park program pays tuition and books for two and four-year college degrees. Parents benefit from free pre-school opportunities for children ages 2-4, parenting classes, and vocational or technical opportunities for parents with children in school.
“What we cannot tolerate—should not tolerate, is education inequality,” Mr. Rosen proclaimed during a recent interview on Central Florida Spotlight. Now as Tangelo Park gets back on its feet, Rosen shifts his focus to another underserved community.
The Harris Rosen Foundation recently set forth on a new venture, adopting a neighborhood west of Downtown Orlando called Parramore. In August of 2017, the OCPS Academic Center for Excellence opened its doors to students from pre-k to the 8th grade. Providing the same love and support offered to the residents of Tangelo Park, Parramore residents benefit from free pre-k and college scholarships.
Community involvement is part of the Rosen family. Harris Rosen’s constant involvement in local neighborhoods, community centers, and local universities has an amazing trickle down effect. As members of the Rosen family, we take pride in our community, joining rehabilitation efforts such as Habitat for Humanity, Corporate 5ks, Charity Challenges, and so much more.
Orlando is a living, breathing city whose pulse is spurred on by passionate residents. Mr. Rosen expressed his “hope and prayer is that one day every underserved community in the United State of America will have a Tangelo Park Program.” Together with love, hard work, and hope for the future, we strive to make this prayer a reality.