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UA Amazing American: Harris Rosen

Leslie Brown

Wouldn’t it be great to have a rich uncle? Even better to have a wise, rich uncle who doesn’t throw his money indulging you on things that won’t last, like cars and clothes, but instead your education.

Harris Rosen has an amazing story in his own right, as the child of immigrants growing up in a slum in New York. He now owns seven hotels in the popular tourist destination of Florida.

Two decades ago, he adopted a small community if Florida called Tangelo Park; a dangerous and drug-infested landscape. His first priority was providing a day-care in the community. The day-care ended up being staffed by Georgia Gordon, a Tangelo Park resident who was just about ready to move elsewhere.

Then he began providing tuition to Tangelo Park high school graduates, to attend state universities. Graduation rates rose from 25%, to nearly %100. Crime has been cut in half, and property values have quadrupled in some instances.

College scholarship recipients Rachel Jones-Manuel and Kamilla Crawford speak of Rosen with admiration and respect and the appreciation of what this special “rich uncle” has done for them and the community.

“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.” – Harris Rosen

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