Feature Story

‘Heroes Among Us’

August 27, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

Zack Rosenburg ’95

Ohio Wesleyan Graduate, Spouse Honored by People Magazine for Ongoing Work to Rebuild New Orleans

Zack Rosenburg ’95

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans a decade ago, Zack Rosenburg ’95 and his wife, Liz McCartney, gave up their comfortable lives in Washington, D.C., and founded the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping affected residents rebuild their lives.

“[W]hen we came to New Orleans, we knew we couldn’t leave these people behind,” Rosenburg tells People writer Caitlin Keating. This week, the magazine named the couple as its heroes of the week as part of its ongoing “Heroes Among Us” series.

Since moving to New Orleans and founding the St. Bernard Project in 2006, Rosenburg and McCartney and their organization have built more than 950 homes. They also have expanded their efforts to aid other areas devastated by disaster, including areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Rosenburg, a double-major in politics and government and sociology/anthropology, told Keating that, although 10 years have passed since Katrina struck, the waiting list for help is the longest it’s ever been. He says the St. Bernard Project still receives 15 to 20 calls a week from New Orleans residents trying to rebuild lost homes.

Prior to founding St. Bernard Project, Rosenburg had opened his own law firm and served as development director for the Consortium for Services to Homeless Families Inc., where he designed a program to help low-income people and welfare recipients attain and maintain jobs that pay livable wages.

For his work as an “innovative and compassionate social entrepreneur,” Ohio Wesleyan awarded him the University’s Distinguished Alumni Citation in May.

Read Keating’s full People article, “D.C. Couple Moves to New Orleans to Build Homes for Over 900 Families Still Affected by Hurricane Katrina: ‘We Couldn’t Leave These People Behind.’ ”