Partnership for After School Education


Mervin “Rock” Rosa has had a passion for working with youth from a young age and has dedicated his life to serving young people by creating opportunities through education, athletics, and leadership development. Rock serves as a Program Coordinator at New Heights and has been an instrumental figure in the lives of hundreds of New Height’s Youth in New York City.

Rock grew up in Harlem in the Drew Hamilton Housing Projects. When Rock was 10 years old, one of his brothers created and ran an afterschool basketball program so that he would have a place to go once school was out. Through participating in and volunteering at programs in his community, Rock developed a strong work ethic and values. Rock is able to translate his personal experiences to the youth at New Heights in order to support and inspire our next generation of leaders. Youth relate to and respond to him because they can see a part of themselves in him – on a daily basis he shows kids that they too can become successful leaders in their community through education and hard work.

Rock spends countless hours working with the youth and families from his programs to ensure they receive the care and attention they need and deserve, and that each participant is on the path to success. Rock also serves as a head basketball coach for many of the girls’ teams at New Heights, and instills invaluable life lessons that have a lasting impact on and off the court. He is able to use the power of sports to effect change in the lives of his youth and has the incredible ability to engage youth and make each individual feel special and empowered.

Rock has become a father figure to many of the students in the program who often seek him out for advice. He goes above and beyond to make students and parents alike feel like part of the larger New Heights family. Rock has been a leading figure at New Heights and is an inspirational role model for its young people. He illustrates that incredible hard work, caring, and commitment can positively alter the lives of hundreds of inner-city youth.