"Those guys put in the work."
On the day I visited Project Rebound’s office, Bell was fielding calls from nervous students about required forms and deadlines to select classes. School was starting the following day, and the 30 or so new program participants weren’t entirely sure what to expect. Bell answered them all calmly but firmly. No excuses, but no prejudgments or stereotypes either.
“They have a lot to say,” Bell said, of the students, who so often were overlooked by counselors and others as teenagers. Grown men have collapsed into tears in his office, he said, when they finally realize they can earn degrees. “They thought something was wrong with them,” he said.