Upward Bound Making a Fast Break Out of the Ghetto

In front of the Ralphola Taylor Community Center in the tough Newfield district of Bridgeport, Conn., Bob Doss gazes down at a slashed cat somebody killed just for fun. Nearby, sullen men eye a fence hawking boom boxes. The Taylor Center is home court for Doss's Upward Bound Academy basketball team. "Not a pastoral setting," says the 6-ft. 6-in. Doss, 40, who grew up in a Bridgeport housing project. "But then, we're not a pastoral academy."

Perhaps not, but his academy's results are beautiful indeed. Doss created it in 1986 to get inner-city girls into good colleges. After only one full...

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