By Marieme Jiddou, Class of 2019
Juan Rosa, known for his epic trips to colleges, love for students, amazing snacks and Media pride, is an alumni of the George Washington Educational Campus! He first started going to GWEC in 1999 when it was one school. When the schools broke into four, he attended the School for International Business and Finance, now called College Academy. Juan described himself as being very excited and happy to start his education on the campus. Juan was in the second graduating class of the four schools, and graduated in 2003.
Even though Juan was excited to start at the GWEC his parents had their doubts. GWEC gang violence was no secret to most who’ve lived in the Washington Heights neighborhood and Juan’s parents were no different. But they realized they’d rather have their child closer in case of an emergency.
Juan came to the United States at the age of 10. He struggled with English but still wanted to be a teacher. That dream soon died out due to the influence of his environment.
Attending the High School for International Business and Finance, Juan was exposed to many business related courses and clubs. He participated in an organization called Virtual Enterprises, where students would be in an office-like setting and were able to travel within the country to Los Angeles and Washington D.C. to meet officials, and to countries such as Austria and France to present their businesses.
Juan was also affiliated with Catholic Charities and NJROTC at the time. Even though he admitted to only joining NJROTC to get out of gym, he later fell in love with the marching and the history that was taught through the course.
After graduation, Juan pursued political science as his major. He later decided on business, and completely forgot about teaching because he felt that business had more “structure” and “order.” Juan did a lot of charity work, working in business related jobs, daycare, summer camp and City Hall.
Later in life, Juan bumped into one of his older bosses who convinced him to take a job as part of Catholic Charities at Media and Communications. He started working for Media in March 2015, and has accomplished many goals for the school. As person who is experienced in many work fields, Juan’s advice is always to give the best of you in everything you do.
When asked about future dreams, Juan said he wanted to complete the television studio, where, “students of all ages and academic performance would be able to come in and use the studio and move forward in life.”
Another big dream for Juan is to change the educational system. He described his time at Media as eye opening. “As much of a joy as you guys are, you are also a lesson,” Juan said. He is convinced that the educational system looks only at a school, and not what’s within it. Media students have caused this enlightenment.
As a student who started Media around the same time as Juan, I can say I appreciate everything Juan has done in my three years of school. He took us on memorable trips that I will never forget, taught lessons we would never have learned in a classroom, and prepared us for the college process.