Jason Bell is the Regional Director for Project Rebound at San Francisco State University. He reflects on how he used education to rebound to success:
“After spending all of my 20s in the California prison system, I learned that there is not much correction in the California Department of Corrections. I served my time in the 1990s, and discussions around the reintegration of former inmates were not as common back then as they are now. I had to figure out what to do with all of the years I was facing by myself, and I had many questions and concerns. I realized that just wanting to spend my years being productive was not enough. I had to figure out how to make my dreams come true in a place that did not encourage productive behavior and practice.
“After investigating the limited resources available to incarcerated students seeking higher education, I learned that I was eligible for out-of-state programs, such as a correspondence program at Ohio University. With the help of supportive family members and the expert guidance from Project Rebound at San Francisco State University, I was able to use my time wisely. I realized I was afraid of higher education, but I also learned that there was so much I didn’t know about education. Once I found my direction in college, the process of learning turned out to be a huge benefit to my personal development.
“Because of my drive to learn, I have risen to heights that I never could have imagined. I owe much of my success to my support networks. Now, I am part of a team that is a living example of what successful reintegration looks like in a college setting. I invite you to write to me if you want to learn more information about Project Rebound and how we can help you get on a track to a college education.”
Project Rebound is located inside the Cesar Chavez Student Center, 1650 Holloway Avenue, T-138, San Francisco, CA 94132