Accountability

We believe that without accountability, neither our participants nor the executives with whom we work will be changed by the program. We will do everything in our power to help the participants succeed in life, but we provide only opportunities and tools; participants must want to change. Consequently, PEP only commits time and resources to those who demonstrate a desire to help themselves. PEP enforces a “no wiggle room” accountability program with participants.

PEP volunteers and employees will likewise be held to a high standard of accountability, being required to take ownership of their initiatives and follow through with their commitments.

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most would be Accountability. My whole life I’ve been blaming everyone else for my incarceration. I’ve never taken a step back and fully accepted the consequences of my actions until now. For me to make it this far in the program and finally see how my actions affected people around me, I truly believe that I’ve changed, and for the first time I’m actually taking blame for my incarceration. It’s not easy holding yourself to a higher standard and accepting responsibility for your own actions. I thank God every day for the opportunity for change. (Tuan L)

Accountability was the hardest value for me to adapt to, but the most important for me to accept. Like most of us, I have been through some traumatic and life-changing experiences that have changed our lives in one way or another. For me, these experiences felt like they were leading me on a path to destruction. I have always blamed everyone other than myself – whoever was closest: family, friends, God; it didn’t matter. I would blame everyone except the person who was actually causing all the damage: me. Now that I have accepted the fact that I brought all that has happened on myself and now hold myself accountable for my actions, I am beginning to live to a higher standard and learn from my mistakes. (Mandy M)

While I believe that all of the 10 Driving Values are important and build on each other, for me, Accountability has had the greatest impact. Accountability is not a popular choice and will certainly be overshadowed by Integrity, Love and Servant-Leader Mentality. But at least in my life, living accountable to other people who care about me and want the best for me has enabled me and encouraged me to live out those other values. Living transparently with others and with myself has given me the freedom to become the man that others have insisted was there, but was only glimpsed occasionally. Because of this I feel unchained and empowered. There is a simple freedom in being able to lay your faults and missteps down. It is this freedom that lets you grow.  (Dustin B)

Accountability is holding your actions and behavior to a certain standard. Accountability is a big issue to some of us. Being the youngest in my class “Redeemed ’19” and to be incarcerated at a young age (most of my teen years), it’s hard to be held responsible for my own actions. As I grow older, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program has shown me how to be responsible for my actions and everything that I do. I can truly say that I have been redeemed from my past to become successful and the man God has called me to be.  (Angel C)

The Driving Value that means the most and is the most important to me would be Accountability. Accountability is the foundation that all of the other Driving Values stand on. Accountability is important to me because I am responsible for all of my actions. I cannot live my life doing whatever I please like I did before I got myself locked up. By holding myself accountable, I am making sure that I continue down the path of righteousness that God has set for me. When I stumble, I quickly correct my mistakes and stay steady on my path, refusing to let old habits regain full control of my life. Holding myself accountable for the things that I do lets my loved ones know that I am also thinking about them in my decisions. It also allows them to help keep me accountable because they know that I will listen to them. Being accountable to God, family and myself will ensure that I will never come back to prison and that I can be the man that I was created to be.  (Michael L)

Excellence

We are dedicated to pursuing excellence in every area, despite the difficulties which arise from setting high standards. We seek to work with and learn from the best of the best. We are dedicated to developing excellence in leadership throughout our organization—leadership of projects, ideas and the promotion of our 10 Driving Values. PEP is committed to working with people and organizations who share our values and mission.

Excellence – being able to work with and learn from the best of the best as well as obtaining good advice, wisdom and understanding from others – is very important to me. I’m able to surround myself with great, positive people every day. I heard a leader the other day in the PEP room say, “There are two things that are going to set you apart from the man you are as you continue on your journey from here: the books you read, and the people you meet.” So yes, it’s very important to have that positive mentor to help you on your journey, and then return the favor one day and give back to see others succeed.  (Andrew Tro)

Excellence is something that I strive for continuously. Before I came to PEP, I strived for excellence in playing guitar, building homes and last but not least, team roping. Working with horses has always made me more likely to pursue excellence, because you can’t expect out of a horse things that aren’t perfect in yourself. Since being involved in PEP, excellence has been instilled in me even more. I strive to work with and learn from the best of the best. It makes me think of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Joseph R)

I would say Excellence is my favorite of our 10 Driving Values because we seek to work with and learn from the best of the best. I’ve always tried my hardest in everything that I do because I was taught at a young age that if you’re going to do something, make sure you do it right the first time. For one thing, your name is going to be on it, and also because if it isn’t done right the first time, you will probably not be satisfied with the results and have to redo it, which will cost more time and labor. By always doing your best, you show good initiative and good work ethic on your part so people will always come back to you for another job.  (James M)

Execution

We place an emphasis on execution—the ability to get things done. We expect to deliver outstanding and timely results. Big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into action. Self-discipline is a core element of our organization’s culture. We sweat the small stuff. We hire people with a strong track record of successful execution.

Execution is the Driving Value that applies to me the most. Execution means staying busy and always handling your business by doing what needs to be done, taking the initiative and always doing what needs to be done without having to be told to do so – things like going to work for a living, providing for your family and giving back to your community. Anyone who wants to be something, or has a dream and wants that dream to become a reality, must have execution as a key value. Because without execution, you will never amount to anything. So set goals and execute! (Zachary W)

When I think of PEP’s 10 Driving Values, the one that applies to me the most would be Execution. It simply means to focus on something and get it done. In life, time is everything, and sometimes we only get one chance to do things, so we must execute and do them right. The ability to get things done is a prime example of execution. Execution is a part of everyday life. I was taught in order to perfectly execute a plan, I must practice. Every step we take in life is accounted for, so we must always identify what our task is, predict what we want to happen, decide on how we want to do it, and last but certainly not least, we must execute our plan. (Levert Y)

The Driving Value that stands out the most (and in my opinion carries the most weight) is Execution. It is a value that propels itself forward and is action with purpose. None of the Driving Values can be performed without execution; they are just ideas if they are not turned into action. In everything you do, if you incorporate execution, diligence and perseverance, then you can be a success in all walks of life. You have to execute in whatever you do – it does not matter what you are doing. It all starts with execution. Even if you have a well-thought-out plan and a wonderful vision for the future, it won’t matter until you take action. (Samuel D)

I identify with all of the 10 Driving Values in one way or another. However, I think I identify with Execution the most. I do everything in my power to do everything that is put in front of me as soon as it is presented. I put everything I have to executing the task to the best of my abilities so that I can take pride in everything that I do. I don’t just give it my best; I push myself to become better at everything that I do, leading me to constantly execute whatever I’m doing better than the time before. That is why I believe that I identify with the Driving Value of Execution. (Jeffrey B)

I think one of the 10 Driving Values that I personally need to focus on is Execution. I have a lot of good ideas and plans, but they are not executed all the way. I need to make sure to follow through and complete my plans and ideas, putting them into action so they are not just ideas or half-finished projects. I think that’s one of the only things that hinders me from being successful – and the leap of faith in believing that my idea will be successful (or that I will actually be successful, period). I have to believe in myself. Now I know that with research and due diligence, I can make it happen and follow through with whatever I start. Quit worrying about failure. You will never know unless you give it your all, right? (Jarrod G)

As far back as I can remember, I have always had big dreams for myself. I would set goals to try to accomplish these dreams. The only problem was that I lacked execution. Big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into action. That is the biggest part of execution. And because actions speak louder than words, Execution is the Driving Value that applies to me the most. I plan to live out “Execution” on a daily basis.  It will determine whether or not I am successful in life. Either I talk the talk and keep dreaming, or I walk the walk by taking action and executing to accomplish those goals. (Abraham S)

My favorite Driving Value is Execution because it is essential to everything in life. I believe in my ability to get things done. You have to put action behind every great idea. A favorite quote of mine is, “Faith without works is dead,” which is from a favorite book of mine that has helped me through life. Hard work infused with hope, faith and honesty is the best formula for proven results – that includes everything from getting up in the morning, making your bed, reading the Word and going to the gym. When keeping your word in work and personal relationships, execution is the best foundation. I would rather show you than tell you! After all, actions speak louder than words. The Lord says, “You will know my followers by the fruit they bear.” Execution will always produce. (Bryndan G)

I believe the Driving Value that applies to me the most is Execution. I’ve always been one to put things off until later, which has been a big problem for me before PEP and even throughout the program. With self-discipline being a core element in this organization’s culture, I’ve learned that in order to execute, we must make good use of our time. Things are not just going to be handed to us; we have to earn them. We’re always going to make time for what’s important to us and it’s our duty to execute and deliver results in a timely manner. (Ricky H)

In regards to which of the 10 Driving Values most applies to me, it is pretty hard to single one out. I am choosing Execution simply because of the significance it holds. All of my life, I have never finished anything. Not only did I start things and not finish them, but as far back as I can remember I have quit on myself as well as others who had faith in me. The biggest part of execution in itself is the ability to get things done. What I like most about PEP’s definition of execution is the part that says, “Big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into action.” I have committed to exercising execution in every area of my life, whether it is in relation to my own endeavors or my relationship with my wife Trinika, or even the select few with whom I choose to be friends. I will finish what I start from now on. I will not quit, no matter how rough the road gets. No matter what I encounter, I will endure it and overcome the obstacles in order to reach success. (Willie H)

The Driving Value that applies to me the most is “Execution.” My whole life I have battled with low self-esteem and depression, which caused me to tell myself that I wasn’t good at anything and that I would not amount to anything. Drug usage just made things worse. But when I joined PEP and began to apply myself, I learned that I could study, make good grades and actually finish tasks. It feels so good to set goals and actually accomplish them, going for the gold and bringing home the prize. None of this would be possible without my faith in God. (Brad W)

The Driving Value that applies to me the most is Execution. The part of the definition that sticks out the most to me is, “Big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into actions.” In life, I have been on a roll a few times and had some great ideas that turned into “what ifs” and “if I had only” thoughts. Truth be told, it takes execution for anything to get completed in a timely fashion. I’ve come to the realization that nothing is unrealistic. The right plan plus execution and dedication equals success! The first step to fixing a problem is realization. I realize that execution has been my weak suit, so I am focused on execution and building up a strong track record of success in this important area. (Shalimar W)

Fresh Start Outlook

PEP believes that every inmate is a human being in need of a true second chance (which for many may actually be a legitimate first chance). We will treat every inmate with respect, regardless of background or personal history. We strive to equip human beings to achieve their full potential. We believe that people can change, dignity can be restored and, as a result, society will reap bountifully.

The Driving Value that I value the most by far is Fresh-Start Outlook. In order for me to succeed in life, it is a must that I leave the past behind, break old habits and change my way of thinking. Through the grace of God and PEP, I know now that I can overcome all adversities and accomplish anything that I put my mind to. The Lord has blessed me with a second chance to go out there and do right and become the man that He put me on this earth to be. Having a Fresh-Start Outlook on life is equivalent to having a breath of fresh air after partially drowning to death. It changes your perception on a lot of things and helps you focus on ways to improve and build a brighter future. (Deodrick P)

Fresh-Start Outlook stands out the most to me. I believe that life is a learning experience and that we all make mistakes; therefore, no one is perfect. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life, and at one point wouldn’t have imagined that hope would play such a huge part in my future. Since joining PEP, I have seen positive changes take control of my daily life. PEP believes that everyone is a human being in need of a second chance, and I can honestly say PEP strives in every area to make each and every participant feel no less than anyone else. Thank you PEP for giving me a Fresh-Start Outlook! (Michael W)

In having to choose just one Driving Value that best applies to my life, I would have to say that the main one would be “Fresh Start” Outlook. Growing up, I developed a mindset that told me I was a failure and always would be. Whenever I entered PEP and began applying the 10 Driving Values to my life, I started to see that I was not a failure and still have the opportunities that I have always had. I gave myself a fresh start at life, and that enabled me to grow in the direction of positivity and being successful. (Todd C)

If I had to choose one of the 10 Driving Values that most applies to me, it would be “Fresh-Start Outlook.” I will be getting another chance to be in society soon, and to have a fresh start is very important to me. I want to show people the new-and-improved me! So long as we apply all 10 Driving Values to our lives, we will stay on this path of redemption with a Fresh-Start Outlook. (LeVelle V)

This is a value that truly defines all of the Driving Values for me because who I used to be had only one way to view things, and that was in the negative. Now that I have really embraced who I am, I see the world from a totally different perspective, and it truly is an eye opener. I know my purpose in life is to make the world a better place, so I had to start with myself. To have Integrity in every situation, to hold a brother accountable, to be a servant-leader, to love all people, to have fun, to have an innovative mind, to exude excellence with every step, to properly execute every plan, and to be a wise steward to others you must have a “Fresh Start” Outlook for yourself first. That’s where it all begins. So that is the value that I wish to encourage the entire world to embrace. (Kendrick C)

Each and every Driving Value plays an important role in PEP, but Fresh-Start Outlook is the most meaningful to me.  For several years, I prayed for the opportunity to right my wrongs, especially as a father. Over the years, I have prayed that God would restore my relationship with my kids, specifically my daughter Eliyaha. I was asking God for a fresh start to be the man He created me to be. Although I was asking for a fresh start, certain areas in my life I was still living in the past. It wasn’t until I decided to take a step of faith and live out a Fresh-Start Outlook that God gave me just that. Over the past 14 months, I have been able to strengthen my relationship with Eliyaha and son Damyen by working on being that man God created me in every area. I have never been this blessed to restore multiple relationships and form a strong friendship with my children’s mother. I have been blessed with a Fresh-Start. GOD IS GOOD. (Aaron L)

Fresh-Start Outlook is the Driving Value that applies to me the most. The way I was living two years ago was sure to lead me to my grave prematurely. I’m grateful to have a fresh start to be able to put forth my best effort in all of my endeavors: to have patience, be humble and not take life for granted anymore. I’ve lost a lot these past two years, but I have another chance at acquiring new things and meeting new people and building new relationships this time, cherishing the blessings that God gave me. I have another chance to use the common sense that God gave me to recognize the signs that He shows me. A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to have a Fresh-Start Outlook; they’re either dead or in prison for life. I thank God every day for this opportunity. (Johnathan H)

I would say “Fresh Start” Outlook is the most important to me because everyone is in need of a second chance. I believe no matter what a person has done in the past, there is always a great future ahead. It only takes one person to believe in someone, regardless of the background or personal history. A Fresh Start gives people new hope of knowing they can be successful and that hope would change so many lives to where it would spread like wildfire. Therefore, be mindful how you treat people in life, because you’re treating people how you want to be treated, and you might restore someone’s dignity. (Cortez E)

Of all our 10 Driving Values, “Fresh-Start Outlook” is the one that most applies to me and is the most meaningful one to my heart. The reason why is because it speaks to how I now see life. It directly applies to the message of redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ. I once was lost but now I am found, and best of all I now love and live in abundance. Because of this, I can live with a “fresh-start outlook.” To live out this Driving Value means no longer looking at the past. Regardless of the mistakes I’ve made, we live a new life and press toward the goal. Shame, guilt and failure – all of these are no longer valid. To embrace a fresh start outlook is to start a new life altogether. I no longer hold onto the past, and I have received the new me in Jesus Christ. I encourage all who are ready to make a change and live life to the fullest to let go of the past, receive the gift of forgiveness from God and forgive themselves. In other words, stop staring at the darkness of the past and set your sight on the way of light, which is that life and plan God has for you. (Victor L)

I will not return to what I thought was the only way of living. With my Fresh-Start Outlook, I will pave positive roads for my future so that my children will see that all things are possible by putting God first and wanting positive change in their life. I will be the one to break the cycle and learn to live life without worries and to stick close to my Creator. Remember where you’re come from, but don’t fall victim to who you once were. Succeeding in life and living out a dream that you have dreamed, a passion that burns inside you to complete – that is truly living with a Fresh-Start Outlook. Remember that our Lord God will never lead us astray. (Wiley R)

My name is Tyrone, I’m thirty eight years old and PEP has been a blessing to me and my family. I believe that this has truly been my fresh start. I have a second chance at life to do the right thing and make better decisions this time around. Since I have been in this program, I have been equipped with the tools that will not only help me but all of my children, nieces and nephews. Even though I have made mistakes in my life, I now truly believe that my past mistakes do not define who I am. I must make the right decisions today and keep pressing forward toward the future, forgetting those past mistakes and looking forward to the bright future that the Lord Jesus Christ has for me. (Tyrone O)

If I had to choose one of the 10 Driving Values that applies to me that I would want to live out, it would be “Fresh-Start Outlook.” I will be getting another chance to be in society with my son soon, and to have a fresh start with him is very important to me, because I want to show him that people can change and dignity can be restored. He is already 10 years old, so he knows a lot of things, but not much about me. The time we spend together is in the visitation room. So to go home and surprise him will be a blessing. But the most important thing is that I will be able to show him the new me: the Redeemed me. PEP has transformed us into true men, and as long as we apply all 10 Driving Values to our lives, we will stay Redeemed with the Fresh-Start Outlook we have been given. (Ryan S)

Fun

Work is an important part of life and it should be fun and rewarding. We seek to create a work environment that encourages laughter, imagination, fellowship and creativity. We regularly celebrate positive results and recognize those involved in the success.

If there is one Driving Value that applies to me, it would be Fun. Fun has always been a part of me; Fun is a way that you can relieve stress, enjoy great times and so on. Every day, I try to think of a new way to have fun, but I also try and make it beneficial at the same time. No matter what the situation may be, I always make provisions to have fun throughout my day, and that is why fun applies to me! So anyone who is in my presence should be prepared to have fun in some form or fashion. (Brandon H)

First, I must say all of our 10 Driving Values apply to me. Choosing just one is hard because I like Execution, Love, Excellence, Wise Stewardship, Fresh Start Outlook, Servant Leader Mentality, Innovation, Integrity, Fun and Accountability. But what most applies to me is Fun. Any work environment or situation you may be in will not have positive energy if fun is not encouraged. Who wants to be in an environment where there are no smiles, laughter or fellowshipping? This is why I try to live out the value of Fun every single day. Someone could be having a bad day, but with a little fun and a couple of laughs, that person’s day can change into a good day. To me, that love being shown is Fun. (Julius S)

Fun is the Driving Value that truly defines me. When I was in the world, my family had money and I wanted to be rich too. So my friendships were fake, the relationship I had with my child’s mother was rocky and I never took time out to have fun and enjoy life. I’m a very serious, goal-driven and ambitious person. I don’t play games with my life. If you can’t benefit me or vice versa, we most likely haven’t associated with each other. My last six months in prison I never spoke – I was just serious and quiet, until I realized life is short. Do you want to spend your time quiet, serious, emotionless and stressed? Go in and come out of prison worse looking than you did when you went in? I’ve seen people who stress lose their hair and develop knots on their heads and ulcers. I decided that I’m not going to be that guy. So I took advantage of having no bills or responsibilities and instead smile and have as much fun as I possibly can. No matter the situation, I’m going to laugh, smile and enjoy myself. I function better in prison like this. In my cell, I’m focused and calculated, but outside in the PEP room and in public, I’m a fool. I act this way because I have a lot of anger, sadness and depression, and that helps me decompress. So fun is what describes me. (Christopher R)

Innovation

We embrace a pioneering spirit and are constantly in the pursuit of innovation and improvement in our efforts to help others. We expect dramatic change. We are committed to seeing beyond the current perception, and even the current reality, to break stereotypes and shape new futures.

The Driving Value that applies to me most is Innovation because I seek change, sanity and living a normal and organic life. I seek the contents of spirituality and stabilizing my inner core and embracing the life God wants me to live for myself, my future, my wife & two sons and the rest of my family. I will prove to them that I am not all bark, but I am biting piece by piece for a better and successful life that I have ahead of me. In order to help others, I have to know how to help myself first, which is the first key point to the steps of innovation. I pursue the sanctification in innovation to no longer live life in the destructive abomination to have to take life risks and put on parole or probation – just living the sober life with the Godly justification. I don’t want to get out and do things different that are bad. I want to do the different things that I know are noble, safe, healthy and memorable. I seek to be with Godly people and successful people who are on the right way to the prize. I cannot wait to actually experience and associate with those people that I ignored when I was in the negative state of mind. I seek everyone’s forgiveness that I have hurt, even the victim who is involved in my case. I am thankful for PEP because I now have a stable foundation of brothers who seek to break those stereotypes we are used to and holding each other accountable when we need it. I thank and praise God for this opportunity. Thanks be to God that I have the innovation to better serve my wife, two sons and family. (Eric R)

The Driving Value of PEP that speaks most to me is “Innovation.” I think of innovation as doing something in a totally new manner, a way that has never been done. I want to do things in ways that I have never done before. Here in PEP, we describe seeing beyond the here and now, what is normal and what is expected. We look to a new way. This new way is groundbreaking and a paradigm-shattering mode of living. By living life as a transformed individual, I can welcome a future of happiness for my family and myself. (Ben V)

At PEP, we apply 10 Driving Values to our lives throughout the character development phase and continue to apply them throughout our journey to become successful businessmen from an entrepreneurial standpoint. Innovation is the number one value that I feel best describes me in the program, as well as the way I see and live my life. I am constantly looking for and achieving new ways to be innovative. God has truly blessed me to be an extremely creative man. When I begin to pursue my career, I will always be on the lookout for new ways to be innovative. I believe we all have to be innovative in life to survive whatever obstacle comes our way. I thank God for equipping me to be able to handle life through innovation. (Jeremy B)

The Driving Value that I feel applies to me is “Innovation.” Innovation is something that I strive to do all the time. I believe that if you’re not trying to do better next time, you’re wasting your time. Innovation is the American dream, and the pursuit of the American dream is to strive constantly to be innovative in everything we do. I also enjoy the challenge which arises from the pursuit of innovation. Everything I do I try to do my own way. I try to be as resourceful as I can and always am mindful of cheaper or more efficient ways to get things done. (Joshua S)

Innovation is my favorite way of looking at any situation. Looking at a problem with a different perspective gives me more than one way to accomplish my goal. Having an innovative spirit helps me to problem solve by seeing different perspectives to make a more levelheaded decision that would be more productive for everyone. Constantly improving myself and leading a life fueled by innovative new ideas and thought patterns keeps me on my toes, yet grounded enough to strongly and boldly lead by example for others who may have a pioneering spirit. By embracing my current reality, I see beyond my current circumstances which allows me to have innovative perspectives, and that is the path to a new and bright future. (Justin H)

Integrity

We model and require complete honesty and integrity in all our relationships and endeavors. Integrity means more than simply the absence of deception; it means we are completely forthright in all our dealings. We say what needs to be said, not simply what people want to hear. We are truthful with ourselves, listening attentively to feedback from others as they speak into our lives, correct us and reveal to us our blind spots.

Integrity – PEP requires complete honesty in all relationships and endeavors. It means simply that the absence of deception is not who or what we are, or that I am forthright in all of my dealings. In this I know that having integrity is not just simply saying what people want to hear, but saying what needs to be said. I have learned to be more truthful with myself and listen to feedback from my peers, with discernment, and then apply what is relevant. Integrity is quite simply truthfulness. To be true to anyone, one must be true to God first and then to oneself. (Marlon C)

I personally believe that all 10 of PEP’s Driving Values are necessary to each one of us as we go forward in life. If I had to choose one of them to best represent what I feel is most important and most applies to me, I would have to choose Integrity. I think that in many ways, the value of integrity encapsulates the other nine. If I have integrity, then I hold myself accountable for my actions and to others. If I have integrity, then I will execute the high standards important to me, which is a form of personal, spiritual and moral excellence. If I have integrity, I will show love to those around me – those that God has commanded me to love. If I have integrity, then I will be an effective Servant-Leader, and I will be a wise steward of my property and of others’ property as well. If I have integrity in my heart, I will leave the old sinful ways behind me and truly embrace a fresh start outlook and incorporate it into my life. With integrity, I cannot fail to be true to myself and to my loved ones. Having and showing integrity makes each and every one of us better in all that we do. (Terry S)

The Driving Value that most applies to me is Integrity because of my commitment to doing what I know to be right at all times. I know our Creator is always present, so I act accordingly. Haven’t we made enough mistakes in our lives? I feel it is time to earn the respect and trust of our families and peers, and to do so we must have Integrity. I see the importance of this Driving Value in the Bible because of the amount of trust the people had in leadership. To hold a position in leadership, you must have integrity. Living with integrity involves speaking truthfully in all situations. Truth is vital to help a brother improve. That being said, I strive to speak the truth out of love for those around me. Integrity is one of the most important values because the others rest on it. Without integrity, accountability will not work; without integrity, PEP would not work. Living with integrity to me is the same as submission to the will of GOD. I strive to live by God’s will. That’s what integrity means to me. When you have integrity, you can hold up under a storm, but without it you just fall apart. Integrity is very much needed in every area of life. (Reginald A)

For me, the Driving Value that most applies to me is Integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing every time, no matter who is around you or who will find out. Maintaining integrity is very important because it builds character and forces you to polish up your morals and values – not for everyone else’s approval or praise, but for yourself. Strong integrity goes hand-in-hand with knowing exactly who you are, what your goals are and why they are important. I believe you have a higher chance of success when you set a standard for yourself and stick to it. Anyone who blows back and forth with the wind like a fallen leaf or a wave in the ocean will have a shaky future. I am a prime example, because in the past I had absolutely no integrity. If it felt good and was for my benefit, I went for it. That mentality put me in prison. Now, I truly believe Integrity is the key to a new life for me. (Jeffery D)

I believe that my strongest Driving Value is “Integrity.” The definition of integrity is, “We model and require complete honesty and integrity in all our relationships (and I mean all) and endeavors. We say what needs to be said, not simply what people want to hear.” I am truthful with myself. I do the right thing at all times, even when no one is watching. I believe that this is one of the most important values there is, and it is required in everything you do. You are at peace with yourself when you do the right thing, and that will help you be successful with others and in whatever you do. (Raul C)

The Driving Value that most applies to me is Integrity. Coming to prison for the first time opened my eyes to the fact that I was not living the life I should, even though I stayed out of trouble most of my life. I was still living an immoral and unethical life. I had no values in life before I came to prison. I was lost, a man with no integrity at all. I was a ship without a rudder, set adrift – until I came to prison. Here I learned about Jesus Christ and made Him the Lord of my life. PEP has helped me learn from the mistakes I have made in life and live with integrity, as a man answerable to GOD. (Jonathan D)

 

Love

We are committed to service in love. PEP staff and leaders will be patient and kind, never envious or boastful or rude. We will not seek our own way nor be easily provoked; rather, we will bear all things and endure all things. We will rejoice in the truth and always seek out the best in others.

Love for me is the most important Driving Value and the one that most applies to me, because love  brings me peace, and when someone shows love it makes this world a better place. Jesus told us that we should love to our neighbors as we love ourselves. That’s the way I try to live. We also know that love is kind and lasts forever. Love is the most important Driving Value because if I practice all other nine Driving Values in love, I know that I will portray the man I am supposed to be. (Jose E)

First and foremost, I give all honor and glory to God for allowing me this opportunity to speak on behalf of PEP. Love is the Driving Value I choose, because Jesus is my inspiration and my teacher in all areas of my life. It’s because of Him I understand what love really means. I also see love in action every day in our PEP classroom. I see my brothers express love through hugs, handshakes, words of encouragement and helping others in need. I live my days loving others as Jesus loves us. PEP is the platform God is using to transform our lives. For this I am forever grateful, and I will always love others no matter what. Thank you Redeemed ’19 for loving me and showing me how to love again. May the blessings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with all. Amen. (Thomas H)

PEP has 10 Driving Values that we live by: Love, Integrity, “Fresh Start” Outlook, Excellence, Innovation, Servant-Leader Mentality, Accountability, Fun, Execution, and last but not least Wise Stewardship.  The Driving Value that most applies to me would have to be Love. There are many ways to show love to others, ranging from looking out for our brothers, to taking care of them, to trying to help them learn something new. Love is very important all around the board. We love our mothers, brothers, sisters and our families. With love comes growth. You love your kids and they grow off of that love. Love is a very powerful value that we show to all of our brothers as we grow off of that love to become better men. (Jonathan G)

The most important Driving Value to me is Love. I believe that through love we can accomplish anything. When you show love or do things with love, your intentions are always going to be in the best interest of the recipient. To me, love is selfless. As men, we often misinterpret love. Love is not ours to possess; we give and receive love. It’s a feeling within us, something we share with a special someone, whether it’s our children, parents, brothers, sisters, husbands or wives. Love is kind. Love is everlasting. So let’s all love one another and make this world a better place. (Aaron A)

Out of our 10 Driving Values, I choose Love. Love covers a lot of deceitfulness. There are two great commandments that the Lord gave; the first is, “Love the Lord with all your heart, your mind and all your soul,” and the second commandment is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” With just those two commandments, you cover all of the 10 Commandments. Some get the word “love” mixed up. Anyone can say, “I love you.” But what kind of love are they talking about? Is it worldly love or a relationship? Spiritual love comes from the heart and is shown from the inside out. When you love what you do and put love into it, in the end, you will be satisfied with the results. That goes with relationships also. Love is a beautiful feeling.  (Jefferson B)

To me all of the 10 Driving Values are important. But the one that stands out the most is love. Having love, as well as showing love, is what brings us all together as brothers. It’s what we show our families to let them know that they have a purpose in this life and that we stand with them and walk beside them. It’s all possible because God loves us and shows us how love makes the world go around. It’s not selfish; it’s not prideful, nor is it boastful; and it shows that you deeply care for other people. All of the goodness in the world is done through love. Love is Redeemed ’19. (Rodney B)

The most important of our 10 Driving Values to me is Love. The two most important commandments are “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) Also in John 13:35, Jesus said, “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I believe it covers all of the 10 Driving Values. At PEP we are committed to service in love. Now with a fresh start outlook, we can be true servant leaders who are accountable and walk in integrity – but without love, it wouldn’t be possible. JESUS loves you and so do I! (Devin B)

The most important Driving Value to me is Love. I say this because my whole life, I have been a loner. I’m not a people person, but PEP has taught me how to love and be around different brothers and people I am not used to being around. It has also taught me to love myself and have love for others. I want the best for all of my brothers, and I want to help kids growing up who are heading in the wrong direction and show them what not to do. I now have a love for helping brothers in the next class to get through and succeed. I believe love is the most important to me, because it has made the greatest impact on my life and has also made me a better man for my family and other people. (Jamikal B)

Of all the 10 Driving Values that we live by, I feel Love is the one that most applies to me. Just think about these words: “We are committed to service in love.” Those are very strong words right there. Through love, all things are possible. It starts with learning to love yourself and coming to the realization that you are capable of sharing this love with others. From there, it takes off and you begin to serve others and their best interests, not just your own. Love is truly the foundation for all that is good in this world. (Robert Di)

Love is the most important to me. Without love, the other nine Driving Values seem pointless to me. Love is more than just a feeling; it’s an action. Love means you’ll do whatever it takes to see another man succeed. Love is being useful to your family, community and yourself. Love conquers all. Love will right the wrongs in life. If you do everything out of love or with love, life would be so much better. If we said only things with love, no one would ever be upset. When the heart is flooded with love, there is no room in it for fear, doubt or hesitation. (Robert De)

I believe that at this moment in my life, love applies to me the most out of all the 10 Driving Values. I don’t only say that in reference to showing love to my PEP brothers and my family, but in being able to love myself. It’s so easy to hide behind insecurity and run from your true self. But to actually have the ability to love the person you are takes a lot of hard work. Love has fueled me through this entire program, and it constantly keeps me on the path that ends in success. All my life, hatred has controlled me, but that was the old me. Although I’m still growing, I really love the man that I’m becoming. (Felix S)

The Driving Value that most applies to me is “Love.” The world is so full of hate, jealousy and envy. People have forgotten why they were put on this earth by our Creator. Love is the only force known to man that can change a person’s heart; love has the power to do incredible, unimaginable things. Love is life giving. Love has the power to give back to someone who has hurt you. Love has the power to make forgiveness possible. Love doesn’t show bias. It’s not discriminatory; it doesn’t pick and choose. Love is the only feeling that is natural. (Travion S)

Love is the Driving Value that means the most to me – it means companionship, giving back and personal growth. Love is always full of surprises. I believe that people should love others as well as themselves. I believe that love is everything and whatever is done in love then will be successful. Love can change the world, and I hope that one day it will. I want to reach people who struggle with depression and let them know that they are loved. (Jordan W)

The Driving Value that most applies to me would be Love. I have come to the point in my life that I try to love every person as I would like to be loved. I have read that love never fails, and that it doesn’t keep record of wrong done to it. I have learned to commit my life to serve with love. I believe loving others is the first step of forgiveness. So no matter how hard life can get with my family or friends, I will continue to love in the way God has shown me to love others as I love myself. I have realized that it’s not about me. It’s very important for me to live out the 10 Driving Values in my everyday life. “These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (Alfredo N)

Love is the most important Driving Value to me because I’ve been selfish for as long as I can remember, and to be able to show others love and have them appreciate it means a lot to me. As stated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud, or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wrong.” In life, love is one of the most important things to have. A human being needs to love and be loved in order to survive. Love is able to help you build better character traits just by being able to display it. The best time to love is now; the best use of life is love; the best expression of love is time, and the best time to love is right now. (Kenneth R)

Love applies to me because in so many different ways and words, love can be applied in everyone’s life. Love encourages people to do right instead of doing wrong. Love is a great feeling to have after being knocked down, neglected, hated by others and betrayed. It gives a positive vibe in my heart, mind and soul when I feel love. No matter from whom it comes, love is a great value that applies to me. PEP has taught me how to love again and, more importantly, how to trust again. It’s great when I can trust people who do not even really know me at all, other than they want to love me back. I am very proud to be a part of this revolution and can call these guys as my brothers. (Anthony O)

The Driving Value that I feel most applies to me would be Love. I can honestly say that in the past, I really didn’t know what love meant or how to show it. Being involved in this program has shown me that in order to love someone, I must first learn know how to love myself. Over the past 9 months in this program, I’ve come to know that love is deep and is not to be played with. Love is an emotion that God blessed all of us with, but at time it’s hard for us to show it. We’re scared of getting hurt, but love is such a beautiful thing if you ever get to experience it. My advice: love like you’d like to be loved. (Cedric R)

Servant-Leader Mentality

PEP believes that with leadership comes the overriding responsibility to be of service to others. We believe the contributions we make in the lives of others are far more important than our own accomplishments. We will lead by example with humility at the sacrifice of personal glory. PEP exists because of our desire to serve all those with whom we come in contact, especially our participants, executives, partners, donors, prison staff and the community at large.

The Driving Value “Servant-Leader Mentality” applies the most to me because I was a selfish individual when I was out there in the world. All I ever worried about was me, doing and getting things I wanted. I never really worried about others’ needs. Going through PEP has helped me realize it’s not just about me. Loving and being a good Servant-Leader to others is one of the most beneficial things I could ever do – not to mention the wonderful feeling I have inside when I can help others out. Putting others’ needs before my own is amazing, and “There is no greater joy than being able to put a smile on someone else’s face.” We need to serve others just as Jesus served others. (Johnny S)

To me a Servant-Leader is being there for the next person and helping people if they are struggling with any problems. If they need someone to talk to, I will lend that ear. It is showing leadership and leading others in the right way. When I go home, I want to lead my family and friends in the way I have discovered: the right way. I want my friends and family to see the change I have made in myself while in this program. I want to help them serve others and to help better people’s lives. I want to give back to other people because I was once lost and someone else took the time to help me become the man I am today. (Kevin C)

Servant-Leader Mentality is by far the most applicable in my life now because of the faults in my past. I have to prepare myself to take charge of my life and ultimately help lead my loved ones, and the best way is to serve my peers in my areas of strength and learn from them to improve in areas of weakness. To be a true servant-leader you no longer have selfishness, which is all I had in my past. Now, it’s about selflessness and willingly help those around you, not because you have to be but because you want to. There is no greater joy than helping someone succeed in life and to see or hear about it, knowing the positive effect you had on that individual and his loved ones. (James P)

I believe all of the PEP 10 Driving Values are important in life, but the one I am trying to perfect and use more in my everyday life is Servant-Leader Mentality. I chose this value because I used to once live my life selfishly before I accepted Christ into my life and was taught to live by these 10 Driving Values. I used to focus on my wants and needs first. Thankfully, I now choose to live my life serving others, my PEP brothers and, more importantly, my family. I look forward to being with my kids again and my family and for them to see that I’m no longer that lost man I used to be, but rather the strong, selfless man they need me to be. (Antonio G)

From our 10 Driving Values, Servant-Leader Mentality is the one that I believe is the most important because as men, it is our duty to lead others. If experience has taught us anything, it is that we need to grow up as it says in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13:11, it says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child … when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” So with that, we need to realize that it is up to us to step up to the plate and assume our role as leaders and mentors in order to best serve our family members and our community. God made us to serve and lead by example, which is a calling we should live out every single day of our lives. It’s time that we leave behind our old childish ways because God has made each one of us a new creature in Christ. So in the same way, we should bless others and teach them from what we have learned from life experience. (Edgar R)

I believe that being of service to others is one of life’s greatest responsibilities. To help those in need or to educate the ones that come after us is of great importance. It assures that we as a human race will carry on. As for leadership, I believe that a great leader leads by example, and from the front, not from behind. You have to be an example for people instead of telling people what to do. It’s best to show them how it’s done. As a leader, you have to remember that it’s not about you, it’s all about those who follow you. (Kevin R)

Since I’m the oldest of 10 siblings, I try to lead by example with everything I do. I know everything I do has an effect on a lot of people who look up to me, whether that effect ends up being positive or negative. Being a Servant-Leader really is the sum of almost all of the 10 Driving Values, because you have to show Love, Integrity, Innovation, Excellence, Wise Stewardship, Fun, and Execution to even consider yourself as a Servant-Leader. (Terrick S)

Servant-Leader Mentality means being faithful in the little things and allowing God to develop inner qualities in me that have produced remarkable results. There are four words to sum up the whole idea of how God has been training me to be a Servant-Leader. The first is isolation: being away from the people I love and having time to reflect on my actions – past, present and future. In the simplicity of silence that surrounds me, I have learned to master myself. It has trained me and given me a deeper perspective on my life. Second is obscurity:  things that are unseen, unknown, unappreciated and unapplauded. In this I have learned the true meaning of character that is required of me and needs to be used to accomplish future tasks with integrity in mind. The third is tediousness: this means being faithful in insignificant tasks that will seem mundane, routine and boring at times, and in these tasks I’ve learned that value of execution. The last word is reality:  finding alone time with God and discovering how to be more responsible with my tasks in life and being diligent in the execution of these tasks with God in mind at all times. Every breath, blessing and opportunity that has been provided to me from redemption to the reconciliation of my family is because God has been faithful. As a servant-leader who follows His example, I pray it leads those I encounter to the same God who is always available. (Robert S)

Wise Stewardship

We are committed to the mentality of a steward: someone entrusted with another’s wealth or property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner’s best interest. We will apply donors’ funds as promised. We are committed to being a lean organization, and as a staff, we are also committed to modest salary and expense levels. We use funds intelligently, efficiently and strategically to achieve maximum benefit for those we serve.

The PEP Driving Value that applies to me the most is “Wise Stewardship.” What wise stewardship means to me is being a good manager of the blessings GOD puts in my life. Everything came from GOD to begin with, and we can take nothing with us when our time on earth is over. To live out the Driving Value means to be responsible with my time and assets, as well as the time and assets of others. For example, if I respect other people’s time, they will be more willing to spend their time with me. (Andrew Tre)