Harris Rosen owns seven hotels in Orlando, Florida, but hasn’t always been wealthy. The 73-year-old grew up a son of poor immigrants in New York City.
Twenty years ago, having amassed a fortune, Rosen decided to give back. He targeted the Orlando neighborhood of Tangelo Park — a crime-infested place where people were afraid to walk down the street and the high school graduation rate was 25 percent.
The first thing he did was provide day care for every parent. Next, he offered to pay the Florida state college tuition for any student from his adopted community of 2500 residents.
It was amazing what Rosen’s nine million dollar investment accomplished. Today, the crime rate has been cut in half and the graduation rate is near one hundred percent.
“When people have the resources to go and succeed, there’s a ripple effect,” said one high school senior who was part of the first pre-K class in the Tangelo Park Program. “It becomes generational. No one in my family ever went to college before, but now, my baby sister can’t even picture a life without college. My mother even went back and got her degree. I showed her that she could do it.”
(WATCH the video below from NBC, or READ the story from Central Florida University)
Photo from Pegasis, CFU.edu