Little Known Project Gives Students a Second Chance

Evelyn Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

People who were previously incarcerated get a second chance at Cal State Los Angeles all because of a little known organization on campus.

Project Rebound is a Cal State LA organization which helps guide formerly incarcerated students to success.

“Had it not been for Project Rebound I don’t think I would have tried getting my Masters degree,” said Sharon Larson, a member of Project Rebound.

The organization offers many on-campus resources for its members such as advocacy for students on parole, probation, or supervision; and a dedicated advisement center for these rehabilitated students.

Project Rebound also believes that its past members who have since graduated, can leave a positive influence to current and future members of the organization.

“We believe in the ‘each one teach one’ model, and know that each of those [students] that [have] gone before has something valuable to share with those [students] coming after.” says Summer Brantner, the Administrative Support Coordinator for Project Rebound.

Project Rebound has made it their goal to make its members feel welcomed and appreciated throughout their studies.

“I was fourteen when I was first turned in to the cops. I had not gone to school since the 60s,” said Larson. “At first I had a lot of self-esteem issues. I did not have the confidence that I have now, and I often felt like I was living in a bubble.”

Throughout the years, Project Rebound has not only helped the formerly incarcerated at Cal State LA, but also on seven other CSU campuses including Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Bernardino.

Despite Project Rebound’s successes, some Cal State LA students are still not aware of the organization or what they have to offer.

“I’ll be honest, I did not know we have an organization like Project Rebound here on campus,” said Cal State LA junior, Stephanie Trejo. “I definitely believe more students should learn more about it.”

Even though Project Rebound provides a good deal of support for its members, students like Larson feel that more financial help would be appreciated.

“Although Project Rebound is still pretty new to our campus, I would love to see us help other members with school expenses like books, transportation, and even housing,” said Larson.

Larson might be able to see her hopes become a reality in the near future as Brantner continues to say, “With new state funding, I am excited about the prospects of being able to offer more support.”

Go to the Cal State LA Project Rebound website to find the full list of service and requirements given by the organization to join.