That’s when Bell’s grandmother called him inside and instilled in him the message he delivered to UVA’s graduating class of 2022.
“She noticed that each time I tried to go up the hill, I was so focused on the top I wasn’t looking down to see where my feet were going,” Bell said. “She said I could stay in if I wanted, but if I went back out, I should focus on where to take my first step. And then the next. And then the next.
“I went back out and tried again, this time recalling the many times I had climbed that hill in fair weather, remembering where some of the rocks, roots and divots were where I could get a foothold. I didn’t make it on the first try, but I kept trying, and I finally made it to the top. “
Belief can go a long way.