Cornell students celebrate their Alternative Spring Break at the Tangelo Park Elementary School Science Fair.

Harris Rosen visits Tangelo Park Elementary School students.

The Tangelo Park Program Student Scholarship turns the dream of going to college into a reality for many students.

Students who participated in the Tangelo Park Program have gone on to work for the Orange County Police Department, Florida Hospital, local schools, the Department of Defense, Valencia Community College, law firms, the military, and more.

The Tangelo Park Program began as a result of a grass roots program that attracted local media attention and attention from local government, civic groups, and Mr. Harris Rosen, a local hotelier. In 1993, after a successful effort to reclaim their neighborhood from urban blight and drug dealers, Tangelo Park community leaders met with Mr. Rosen and the Orange County School Board Superintendent to discuss the possibility of a scholarship program for Tangelo residents; together they established the Tangelo Park Pilot Program.

Multiple programs that greatly enrich the Tangelo Park community developed from the Tangelo Park Program. These programs include the 2-3-4-Year-Old Program, Rosen Foundation Scholarship, Family Service Center, Parent Leadership Training Program and Cornell University Alternative Spring Break. These programs provide Tangelo Park students with a valuable education and assist families in matters such as health care, counseling and parenting skills.

Since the inception of the Tangelo Park Program, high school and college graduation rates are higher; students’ grade point averages have increased, as have life time earnings. Crime rates are down and real estate values have steadily increased. The program’s success, however, is due to the community agencies that work together, developing partnerships outside the community, and working towards the same common goal in an enduring partnership that has lasted for over a decade.