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www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x June 1 - 14, 2017 x 5 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 necessities will be paid for by Rosen. Dream Turned to Educational Reality Most of the direction for the school program in Parramore comes from the overwhelming success of the Tangelo Park Program, which Rosen started more than 24 years ago. “While sitting at my desk one day, it occurred to me that I needed to say, ‘Thank you, God,’ and count my blessings; and also be in a position to offer a helping hand to some people in need,” Rosen recalled. “We were the first in our family to go to college, my brother and I [from Russian and Austrian/ Hungarian immigrant lineage]. Since education was such an important part of my life, something that Mom and Dad emphasized if I had any hopes of leaving the neighborhood, I thought I would do something with education in some way [to help others].” Rosen collaborated with early childhood expert Sarah Sprinkle and a recognized Orange County principal to formulate and organize the plan to be known as the Tangelo Park Initiative, later the Tangelo Park Program. Tangelo Park came to mind as a community in need because of the frequent mobility of residents after residing in the area one or two years and a lack of educational support. The program included the component of preschools occupying residents’ homes in Tangelo Park, so children ages 2-4 could get a preschool education by a licensed caregiver while their parents were at work. The University of Central Florida got involved with mentorship programs for parents and students, which were about 60 preschoolers in 10 homes. Upon high school Harris Rosen believes education is the key to success for everyone. graduation, the students would get a free scholarship to attend any Florida community college, four-year school and/or trade school. The community was skeptical at first about Rosen’s intentions with the school program, concerned about whether this was for his benefit or if the program was only available to students who started in preschool and not older children. “I took care of [those beliefs] right away,” Rosen said. “I made sure any student wanting to go to college would go free of charge, and people went crazy. Twenty-four years later, at this moment, there is virtually no mobility, as people are waiting to move until their children graduate from college, and 400 youngsters have graduated from the Tangelo Park Program. High school graduation rates are at 100 percent from 45 percent, and college graduation is at a 78 percent rate, compared to the national average of a 35 percent four-year college graduation.” Each year, an alumni party is held at one of Rosen’s hotels to bring graduates together to reflect on their stories and achievements. One of Rosen’s favorite events with the Tangelo Park Program is getting to assist in the preschool graduations with handing out diplomas and moving tassels on their hats. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 29 , 2016 AnnVarkeyRealtor@gmail.com Remember when playing the Money Game was FUN? Are you relying on CHANCE to guide your business & personal financial decision-making? Let the professionals at John E. Russi, CPA, PA Accountants & Advisors assist you during these perilous economic times Providing Accounting • Tax Preparation • Tax and Financial Planning Payroll And Quickbooks Training Services. 7575 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Ste. 320 • Orlando, FL 32819 407-345-1191 • RussiCPA.com This information is not intended to provide tax, accounting or legal advice. As with all matters of tax or legal nature, you should consult your own tax or legal counsel for advice.