Voices

A Father-Daughter Story of Education & Incarceration

"The culture here is amazing. To have this opportunity to be involved in CSU LA, it's helped me a lot ... To actually have a professor come here and interact with us has been great. It's transcended not just different individuals that I came in contact with, but outside in the community as well." Incarcerated student Allen Burnett talks about the experience of taking college courses from CSU LA — California's only face-to-face Bachelor's program inside prison — and how that experience affected his relationship with his stepdaughter Zion in her own pursuit of education.

Stories of Reentry - Jason

"I started to learn that there was something for me in school and when I found that, I went 100% on it." In this video by Root and Rebound, Jason Bell talks about his personal journey from incarceration to higher education to directing Project Rebound at San Francisco State University. He is now helping to replicate Project Rebound on seven other CSU campuses.

Lighting the Way to Education not Incarceration

“Every day 83,000 folks are in a jail, a jail that is within 10 miles of a community college campus. We need to educate those folks.” This video by California Forward features the story of LA Mission College student Louie. His story highlights the partnership between the college in the LA Community College District and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). The partnership focuses on providing housing and other reentry needs to college students transitioning from incarceration to the community.

Being an Astronaut

"It's unbelievable that we've grown to this place within the greatest country in the world to incarcerate so many people, you know, who need support and love, who need a first chance, let alone a second or third or fourth chance. The human spirit is so amazing, but the human condition sometimes sets us up for places like prison... but it doesn't have to, and we deserve better." In this video by JustUS Voices Storytelling, Romarilyn Ralston talks about her path from incarceration to higher education, and the personal struggles she's faced since her re-entry, while she worked to get both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in her first 5 years outside. Romarilyn is the program coordinator for Project Rebound at Cal State University, Fullerton. 

Exit Right

"Who better to tell you how to reenter effectively and what's going to work than someone who's actually done it?" Daryl Atkinson, Second Chance fellow with the Department of Justice, presents a video highlighting the voices and stories of formerly incarcerated individuals as they navigate the reentry process.

The Importance of Second Chance Pell

“It’s unfortunate we’ve come to prison but it’s a huge blessing that we’ve been allowed the opportunity to have further education so possibly we can take our place back in society.” This U.S. Department of Education video highlights college opportunities inside an Alabama state prison, with testimony from students and instructors. The Second Chance Pell pilot experiment was announced by the department in 2016 and is providing Pell grants to students enrolled at over 60 institutions across the country.

Project Rebound Student Spotlight: Omar Chavez

"Education empowers. Education's very important because it changes you into a person that can make a difference, and make a difference in your community and make a difference with your family. It makes you a stronger person of mind and makes you more ready for any challenges that you could face in your professional life."

In this video, Omar Chavez shares the personal story of his experience on campus participating in the Project Rebound program, including re-entry challenges and stories of support. Omar Chavez is the first graduate of Project Rebound at Cal State University, Fullerton.