Bridgeport Schools mentor used program to teach kids to see the good in tough times
A Bridgeport man whose mom died of a heroin overdose is helping local kids celebrate Black History Month in a unique way by teaching them how to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Harry Bell heads a district-wide mentoring program in Bridgeport Public Schools based on the "Color a Positive Thought" coloring book series he created. It has since been officially adopted by several public school systems.
"The idea behind the 'Color a Positive Thought' coloring book and the actual organization is to let kids see positive in negative situations," said Bell.
Bell said he had a tough childhood growing up in Trumbull Gardens and is no stranger to negative situations.
"I'll never forget I was probably like 8 years old and I seen my mom shoot heroin in front of me," Bell recalled. "That situation kind of molded me into the person I am today."
People at the school say that Bell is truly someone to be proud of.
Bell was recently featured on the new TV show hosted by "Empire" star Taraji P. Henson. He says his rise to national prominence came as a direct result of his stories told on News 12 Connecticut.
"You always put me in the spotlight to actually show the people what 'Color a Positive Thought' is about and I'm very thankful for Frank Recchia and News 12," said Bell.
Whether helping kids get scholarships, keeping them off the street or mentoring them, Bell is there year in and year out making a difference in the community he calls home.
"Black history to me, is a person that does something from the heart that's an African American and makes change that lives a lifetime," Bell said.
He said he wants to continue encouraging kids to aim high, work hard and make good choices.
"My goal is to let them know that they are Black history. They just got to start making it," Bell said.