Through her commitment, creativity, and leadership, Madeline Rosario has built an exceptional afterschool environment in a chronically underperforming district in the Bronx. The families in the community served by PS311/PS294 live in areas of concentrated poverty and the schools serve high numbers of English Language Learners, recent immigrants, and families living in homeless shelters or temporary housing. Against this backdrop, Madeline has created a resource-rich and supportive environment for children and families facing enormous challenges, going above and beyond her responsibilities to ensure that children in the program gain access to opportunities that broaden their horizons.
Madeline was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in the south Bronx. She began her career in banking, and it was through volunteer experiences with the American Red Cross that she was inspired to find work assisting those in need. Madeline worked with the American Red Cross and the NYC Mission Society before becoming the Director of an afterschool program with New Settlement Apartments in 2006.
In her tenure at New Settlement, Madeline has consistently built bridges between school leadership and the afterschool program, a trait that was particularly important during the difficult times of transition and reformation within the school complex. As a leader, Madeline also supports her staff, modeling the behavior she expects from them, supporting their professional development, creating opportunities to recognize them and their accomplishments, and inspiring them to find their passion in working with children. She has been able to expand the program to reach a greater number of students, lead parent engagement efforts, and partner with numerous organizations and initiatives, all to benefit youth. Through her leadership and advocacy efforts, she had created a program that is rich in the arts and literacy and has helped create a Community Playpark and a school health clinic at the campus.
Madeline prides herself on knowing every one of the 300 children who attend her program and greets each with warmth, good humor, and genuine care and concern. Each day Madeleine works to ensure that the children in the program can see the myriad of opportunities available to them, to know they have a choice, to aspire beyond their expectations, to thrive, and become future leaders. As the “go-to” friend and resource to the parents and children in the community, families credit Madeline and her afterschool program as the consistent and stabilizing force in their lives and the lives of their children.