Project Rebound changing the game for students

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Photos Eric Sandoval: Project Rebound Executive Director Dr.Annika Anderson and Director Paul Jones.
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Project Rebound of California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) is a program on campus dedicated to helping system impacted students through and after graduation. Project Rebound has been at CSUSB for five years and has grown immensely since. 

When speaking with the group that helps this organization thrive, you can immediately sense the unity. Dr.Annika Anderson, head of the program, Paul Jones director of the program, Roberta Fox student worker, and Wendi Witherell, student intern, broke down how they function and work with system impacted students. Each of them has a role: Dr. Anderson serves as the connection between the organization and the Dean; Paul Jones oversees Project Rebound’s members and student workers; Wendi and Roberta’s jobs are to be hands-on with the members and assist any way they can. 

Project Rebound started in 2016 at CSUSB, there are currently 14 such programs in California however, Project Rebound at CSUSB is the only one of the 14 that has a focus on social work. 

Student worker Roberta Fox and intern Wendi Witherell.

“Initially my focus was on getting these students help with school up to graduation, but Paul came up with the idea that we should add a social work aspect, so I thought about it and said ‘you’re right we should have a social worker aspect to our program,’” stated Dr. Anderson. “We’ve even entertained buying a house for the participants but nothing is imminent.”

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Project Rebound helps these system impacted students with applying to school, educational advising, and providing social and emotional support. Project Rebound at CSUSB is the only Project Rebound that has a social worker aspect, they help with food, rent, and work. 

The Project Rebound staff has a love for each other and their members, Paul Jones could not say enough about his amazing team. He shared some stories of Roberta and Wendi helping students in the program. 

“There was a woman with a ten-month-old baby who was denied housing based on income, but thanks to Roberta and Wendi they were able to get the member and her child housing,” explained Jones.  “I’ve got another one, we had a member that was denied work at Amazon but thanks to Roberta and Wendi they were able to prove Amazon had an unlawful hiring process and helped the member get the job.”

Project Rebound at CSUSB works with the other Project Rebounds around the state, they all lean on each other for help and support. Their goal is to create a pipeline for students from junior college to the university level. 

Project Rebound at CSUSB is an amazing organization that currently has 28 students and 11 graduating this spring. Project Rebound has a mission of helping their students reach their goals, and they can’t wait to continue their work.

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