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.

This word can mean different things to people. However, my personal definition simply is “to be responsible for.” This was a lesson I learned in the military. This was a value that I had tried to live by, but over time it faded into the background. I was not truthful with myself or others. I have said many times that I compare this program to boot camp, where you are torn down to be built back up. I am thankful to feel a sense of accountability in my life again. (Kevin W)

All of the 10 Driving Values have helped aid in my development during this program. The one that has stuck out the most to me is accountability. Before I started PEP, I didn’t even know what accountability was – it wasn’t a word I would typically use before. But now after being incarcerated, I understand accountability a lot more. I understand that on the day that I got sentenced, I was simply being held accountable for my actions by my peers in a court of law. This is what civil people do to resolve problems as well as keep one another on track. At first, I believed that if someone approached you to hold you “accountable” for something you did or said, it was a form of snitching. (Like I said before, I didn’t even know what the word accountability meant.) Now I understand the importance of accountability. My father once told me, “Son, be careful what you do, because someone is always watching”. I realize that when you evolve and become a leader, like my father once was, you must be careful with what you do in front of the team you are leading, as well as with the words you say or commitments you make. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you hold yourself accountable, but it’s important to know that if you don’t hold yourself accountable, those who are watching may feel the need to pull your coattails and hold you accountable for your actions or commitments you didn’t fulfill. Accountability is a way to help aid someone’s development by giving them insight from the outside looking in. I have had numerous PEP brothers pull me to the side and hold me accountable for my actions or commitments I’ve failed to execute. Being held accountable has helped me in my walk as a man of integrity. I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for your participation in this wonderful program. You are appreciated. (Donavan J)

An essential part of gaining trust is through demonstrating integrity and accountability. Demonstrating integrity means staying true to your brothers and adhering to high moral and ethical values. Having accountability means taking responsibility for your actions. Both values are and will always be important to relationships. Which is why accountability is one of my favorite 10 Driving Values. Being held accountable will help you grow in more ways than one because you learn from your faults to become a better person and be that servant leader you were born to be. (Edward S)
At the end of the day, I have to live with my conscience. When I rest my head at night, I review the decisions that I have made throughout the day and hope that I made the best decisions with the information that was available to me. I will be held accountable for my thoughts and actions and whatever choices I have made in this short life. I will also be held accountable at the end of my life when I stand before God and am judged for eternity on how I lived my life. Accountability is a Driving Value that reminds me of how much I need to grow spiritually in this life, because it can end abruptly at any moment. (Ian V)

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.

I believe in striving to reach a higher level of knowledge, as well as spiritual enlightenment, hour by hour and day by day. To do this to the best of my ability, I always aim for excellence in every task and situation, whether it be something small such as sweeping the floor or something big such as putting together a business plan. With excellence as one of my primary goals, there is no limit to success and happiness in life. (Daryl L)

Referring to the universal laws of morality and existence, finding passion in living and completing tasks to the best of your ability forms the foundation of enlightenment and being. Proactively working toward creating a better world – including assisting those sharing the world with you in becoming – would be included in the endeavors. Any other value I believe could come and go, but to be excellent, to be great, would not be a single act. You must continuously strive toward being better, for excellence does not exist at the end of some path or achievement; it is the path. When displaying excellence, you are optimizing all values. (Michael P)

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 most important Driving Value to me because it pushes you to take action on your plans and ideas. It states that big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into action. That stuck out to me, because I remember plenty of times when I had a plan that I didn’t execute due to second guessing myself. (Quentin B)

This is my favorite Driving Value due to its simple meaning: getting things done. Any of the other Driving Values are meaningless if they are not executed. There are many lost talents inside these walls because due to not executing the task of staying free. I love to execute tasks that are given to me; the small sense of accomplishment given at the time is just enough to keep my day going. If I continue to train my brain to execute the small tasks in life, the big ones will be much easier. (LeDarion H)

Execution is the ability to get things done with an effective ambition and fully completing a task. With Execution, there is no room for excuses or error. This is my favorite Driving Value because I personally lacked “Execution” in my life until I learned how to implement every aspect of that word. (Joseph C)

I’d have to say that execution is my favorite Driving Value because you can know about all the other values, but if you don’t act on them, then you can’t express them. Furthermore, you can know close to anything, but again, if you don’t execute what you know to do, then your knowledge is useless. I believe execution holds more values within itself, such as initiative. (Tiddus A)

Execution means finishing everything you set out to do. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Don’t ever settle for less, because you can do anything you set your mind to. Remember GOD breathed the breath of life into you, so we can do anything with Him – you just have to execute and accomplish your goals. (Larry S)

Execution is the act of getting things done. It’s not just talking about doing something, but actually doing it. What is the purpose of learning when you don’t exhibit your knowledge? Also, in order to fulfill any dream, hope or goal, you must EXECUTE the plan that is set forth in order to achieve it. MAKE IT HAPPEN! (Richard T)

Execution is my favorite Driving Value because it is a skill that must be developed and carried out consistently if one wants to achieve the desired goal. Many of us contain the right ideas and a great deal of information, but fail to activate those thoughts by bringing them into existence. An abundant amount of knowledge has no use without the proper wisdom and application. Learning the necessary information to complete a certain task is only a fraction of the solution. We must strive to put those instructions into practice in order to achieve maximum results. (Giante W)

Although each of the 10 Driving Values are extremely vital to one another, if I had to choose one that is at the top of the list, in my eyes that would have to be Execution. There was this boxer back in the day named Gene Tunney, and he broke both of his hands throughout his career. As a result, his whole team told him that he would never be able to be a champion; but instead of letting this dictate his career, he became more strategic. He went on to become a champion by beating a very skilled boxer named Jack Dempsey. You see, Gene became more technical to get around what most thought would be impossible. This story stands out to me because it is Execution at its finest. There are a lot of things someone may tell me I can’t do because I have an “X” on my back, but throughout the Prison Entrepreneurship Program I learned that persevering and enduring lead to a greater reward. The common denominator in any great legacy is Execution, and in order for me to serve and be a wise steward of my time and yours, Execution would have to be a factor. In all of my endeavors, I place an emphasis on the ability to get things done the right way, and that’s why I feel Execution is the most important Driving Value. (Dante V)

 

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.

This is by far my favorite Driving Value. One of the things I’m most grateful for in completing my incarceration is having the chance to finally have a fresh start. Lord knows, I’ve needed it. This baggage of prison, probation and other things has been lingering for eight years. Once I get out, it will all be over and I will have the chance to reshape my life. Not only do I need a fresh start, but most of all my children need this also. My boys need their father. I have four boys, and I want to be the best father I can be for them. Having a fresh start is going to give me that opportunity. I am thankful and so grateful that PEP has helped me in the sense of giving me an opportunity to having a fresh start. (Shane G)

I personally believe that I have been given another chance at life, whether I deserve it or not. I give all credit to God who is a God of a million chances, not just a second or third. If I was entitled to only one second chance, I would not be here today, so I’m grateful for what was given to me. I cherish another opportunity to better myself in every way and achieve my full potential. My family sees the new man I am today and doesn’t remember the old man I used to be. With encouragement, we can all become the men we want to be. (William W)

The reason “Fresh Start” Outlook is my favorite of PEP’s 10 Driving Values is that I believe every person deserves a second chance. We can make a conscious decision not to allow the past to define us, but the only way that will matter is if we choose to do things differently, starting right now and moving into the future. (Steven D)

Along my journey in life, I have asked many times for a second chance, because I made many bad decisions and hurt a lot of people. For some time my past has seemed to weigh me down, probably because I could not seem to ever get a fresh start from myself. Whatever it was that was holding me down I feel free of today. My outlook is clearer than ever and my past is behind me . Today is a fresh start, and I value the meaning that PEP puts behind “Fresh Start” Outlook. It’s the value we place in mankind. (Joshua T)

I chose this Driving Value because deep in my heart, I know this “fresh start” is real this time. I’ve had many before but never have I viewed life with the perspective that I do now. I’ve been through a lot and have overcome many obstacles in my life. I can say in all honesty now that I am a transformed man. The time for change is here, and I’m ready for a new beginning. The drive I have and passion for wanting a new way of living is beyond my ability to describe. To me “fresh start” means I can be a father now, a brother, a son, a man with a purpose. God’s purpose. There’s only moving forward and success from here on out, without looking back. I can be the man my mother would have been proud of. God has a plan for me, and it all has to do with this “fresh start”. For I was once lost, but now I am found. I found the real me. (Robert E)

Being aware of my “Fresh Start” Outlook, I acknowledge that I have what I need for my well-being and fulfillment. Self-contentment, rational thinking, and emotional maturity provide a firm foundation for effective living and progressive spiritual growth. With a “Fresh Start” Outlook, I redeem my awareness from memories of hardship, traumatic events, failures and misfortune. I now restore my life to wholeness by viewing memories, current situations as well as interactions with objectivity and a “Fresh Start” Outlook. Today I am firmly established with a “fresh start.” I think constructively, act responsibly and experience progressive prosperity. (Christopher S)

My favorite of the 10 Driving Values is “Fresh Start” Outlook. The other nine Driving Values are all incorporated in my “Fresh Start” Outlook on life. I am a completely different man than I was before I came to prison, and I will be living a completely different life when I get out of here. PEP is all about us having a “fresh start” and beginning a new life. (Michael M)

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.

So for those of you who know me this needs no explanation, but for the rest of the world that hasn’t had contact with me yet: I love fun more than a fat kid loves cake. Everything about fun. When I wake up and hit the floor it’s another day of awesome and if I can’t make at least one person laugh or smile in the first five minutes then I’m worried it might be a long day. To grasp the attention of and inspire those around me to laugh and feel joy is the energy I feed on. It is even more rewarding when I find someone who is down and low or in a bad mood, ‘cause the first couple of jokes I say they always look at me like “Just go away I don’t wanna hear it…” but by the third or fourth joke they got that smirk on their face like they’re trying to hide the fact that they wanna laugh and that’s when I got ‘em. You can’t hide that spark of joy from me, everyone’s got one and I will dig until I find it. The feeling of knowing that even for a moment I brightened someone’s day/life is a feeling worth striving for.
“Negativity cannot be conquered with negativity; only with positive thoughts and actions can it be overcome.” Fun to me is definitely a major ingredient for happiness and joy, as well as to obtain peace of mind and wellbeing. Love carries an equal part of the responsibility as well, and the two are interconnected. Because of that, I try to live every day and commit every conscious action to showing love and being the funniest person in the room; even my mom will tell you, I’ve always been the “class clown” and I love to light up a room. So if you’re ever down and I’m around, prepare for a mood change  (Perry T)

Fun is the most important Driving Value to me because fun is the enjoyment of pleasure, particularly in leisure activities. Fun is an experience often unexpected, informal or purposeless. It is an enjoyable distraction, diverting the mind and the body from any serious task or contributing an extra dimension to it. (Alton C)

Fun is my favorite because who doesn’t like to have fun? I try to have fun as much as possible because boredom gets me in trouble every time. I strive to enjoy life to the fullest. I wear a smile at work and at home because everybody knows I’m having fun. (Charles E)

The reason I chose Fun is simple: I am a very fun guy and the life of the party that people would love to be around. Being a participant in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, you have to have fun for those serious moments – if not, you’ll just stress yourself out. There were a lot of great moments during our journey in this program, and it still continues. Having these “fun names” helps everyone loosen up and interact a lot better, plus it’s pretty funny to “own it” (that’s got to be one of my favorites). Also we appreciated Fun Day, complete with a water balloon fight and dodgeball. We took lots of pictures too – where else in prison does that happen? I think it’s safe to say we had a lot of fun during the class of Fall ’19. (Justin R)

My favorite of the 10 Driving Values is Fun. All of the 10 Driving Values are important, but without fun, life is pointless and dull. Most of my regrets in life are the fun I missed out on, like fun with my family and friends. I was too busy working. Now that I am in prison, those are the moments I miss the most. Upon my release, I will not miss an opportunity to have fun. (Robert F)

The reason why “Fun” is the most important of the 10 Driving Values is because without it, I believe you can lose the following: focus, passion and drive. Fun is one of the values I’ve had to learn all over again. Having fun grants me the value and joy that comes from achieving whatever task that is placed before me. Nobody wants to be around someone who is too serious. And the craziest thing is that it took me to be in PEP to be able to identify the values in life that I lack. No More Mr. Too-Serious for this PEP brother. (Ta’Mundray W)

Fun is the opposite of boredom. As long as you are having positive fun, then you have less idle time on your hands to be bored. When you’re bored, it triggers your mind to wander to places it should not wander too. That is the reason why my favorite one of the 10 Driving Values is fun. (Jason H)

Fun is my favorite Driving Value of them all. I chose Fun because I was incapable of showing joy or even having fun. I was always too serious. Having fun every day has helped me grow out of that stage. The main goal of my day consists of having fun as I do whatever needs to be done. (Daniel S)

It is very hard to pick which Driving Value is my favorite. I am going to go with “Fun.” I believe that Fun is very important value in life. You have to have fun in order to enjoy life to the fullest. If you don’t have fun, you will have a very boring and unhappy life. So let’s all have fun! (Benjamin S)

Fun is my favorite out of all the 10 Driving Values. To me it shows character, being able to enjoy all of the hard work you have done and expressing it in a positive way. It is very important to have fun because all work and no play can lead to a disclosed sense of humor. (Oscar B)

 

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.

My favorite of PEP’s 10 Driving Values is Innovation. I love this value because it opens doors to the unknown. Being creative – making a thought a reality – is a beautiful process. We are committed to seeing beyond the current perception and reality. To open your mind to new ideas and to tap into a rim of the future is what innovation is all about. We have a new mindset. We strive to be better, more productive human beings, letting go of the old and inventing the new – that is Innovation at its finest. (Jerome H)

I chose Innovation because in the evolution of all things, innovation has been the key of separating all beings and ideas. Since we as humans are so far down the lineage trail, what sets each one of our ideas apart is innovation. “What can I do better than the last guy that can improve this plan?” or “What did he do wrong that I can correct?” It’s not exactly what you can do, so much as it’s “what can I do better?” (Brian P)

Innovation is the leader of the world. To create is the center of life and is linked to progression and intelligence. Without innovation, life wouldn’t evolve and certain obstacles in life couldn’t be overcome. We live so comfortably now because of the sacrifices and wisdom of innovators who came before us, and because today’s innovators have perfected past innovations, and in so doing have created new paths of innovation. Being innovative is one of the lights of eternity. (Rodney 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.

In reflecting on the Driving Value “Integrity,” many things come to mind. Along with fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, Integrity implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way. Integrity is the same as trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being untrustworthy with a responsibility or pledge. Integrity is my personal favorite Driving Value. (Justin W)

I believe that by having Integrity, we are true to ourselves. We are able to be honest, committed and, most importantly, reliable to others when we are needed. When people know you have Integrity, they trust you and see the good in you. It also makes you a better person. Personally, I like it when people see this Driving Value in me. That is why Integrity is my favorite Driving Value. (Juan G)

The reason I chose Integrity as my favorite Driving Value is because it was something I used to lack in my life. As a Christian, I learned through the power of the Holy Spirit that a man without integrity is a man without moral standards, and he is incapable of honesty therefore he can’t be trusted to lead. (Nathaniel B)

I value integrity above all because by definition, integrity means “moral uprightness.” Morality is the foundation of someone’s standards, or principles derived from a particular philosophy, religion, culture or standard a person believes should be universal. “Upright” implies a strict adherence to moral principles, or simply being just or honest. Integrity doesn’t mean just telling the truth – there is a more profound meaning to it, and I hope everyone can cherish this value as much as I do. (Antonio M)

If I had it to pick a Driving Value, it would have to be integrity. To me it means doing what is right at all times, not just when others are around or when you see people watching you. It means standing up for what’s right when others would turn a blind eye, or being courageous at all times by speaking up when others stay quiet. Integrity requires saying what needs to be said, even if you are hated for it later. I would say it’s the one I need to work on the most and is the one I believe everyone needs at all times. (Miguel M)

Integrity is my favorite Driving Value because in order to be respected in life, you have to have integrity. Integrity means being yourself, even when it’s not popular to the world. It also means standing up for what you believe in, no matter whose feelings you may offend. This is something that I will teach my kids and their kids about because integrity is that important. (Donald L)

As I kneel each night to pray to GOD, every action, every decision and every word that I have spoken throughout the day are put before me by my Father. I desire to have the least possible to tell GOD that I am sorry for as I lay down to sleep. This is not because I am bound, but because I truly love my Father in Heaven. At least sometimes during the day, I desire to give GOD a reason to smile. This is why integrity is so important to me. (Daniel Ma)

Integrity is the best Driving Value, due to the fact that honesty will take you a lot farther than not telling the truth at all. I was always told by my grandfather that people will respect you a lot more if you’ll just be honest and take care of your responsibilities. That’s why I chose this Driving Value. This should be valued in everybody’s life. (Daniel Mi)

I believe integrity is the most important Driving Value not just in business, but in life itself. Integrity is a quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or moral uprightness. Integrity is an essential ingredient in building trust. Integrity is both doing the right thing and saying what needs to be said, not just want people want to hear. To be a man of integrity is to be a man of love. (Dennis M)

I believe that integrity is the most important Driving Value. Integrity means doing the next right thing even when no one around is watching. My whole life, I have been selfish and self-centered, only doing things to benefit me, no matter what the rules were. Without integrity, I walk around aimlessly. It is easy to do the right thing when people are watching and are able to hold me accountable, which is why I am able to make it case-free when I am locked-up. When I have to hold myself accountable and no one is watching me, I seem to bend the rules to assist me. By having Integrity in my life, I don’t bend the rules anymore. I accept responsibility, and when I make mistakes I do the next right thing to fix them. I am by far “the king of making mistakes,” and I believe that is okay, because what matters is that I do the next right thing to fix them. (Phillip S)

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.

Without Love, none of the other 10 Driving Values can be met accordingly. A deep understanding of self-love is required to accomplish such things as accountability, integrity and having fun. I believe love is the most powerful word, action and energy of all. It’s more than just emotion, but a drive, a feeling of utter fulfillment. Without it, most people feel rejected, alone and afraid. Without it, are we even able to achieve a greater consciousness? Are we able to access the true Kingdom? I think not. Even some of the greatest people to walk the earth have experienced love, most of all Jesus. You see without it, it is impossible to fully live. When I hear “Love,” I think about beauty and all things beautiful. Imagine what a little bit of love can do in someone’s life. (Andre M)

Love is my favorite Driving Value because God is love. Love is what holds this world together. Without love, it is impossible to please God. Love sees no color and holds no record of wrongdoing. Having love along with Jesus in your life makes things a lot easier. Love provides everlasting peace, which never goes away. Love helps you handle the ups and downs of life. (Ramon D)

Love to me is an emotion that constitutes peace, tranquility and harmony to coincide with each other. Allowing love to be the driving force in your life will always have people asking and wondering, “why is that person acting that way?” While humans tend to create imbalance in this world, love creates balance. The love that I’ve been shown in PEP has created that balance for me due to the world I was previously consumed by. I have found my peace and harmony in a place where I never thought it was possible. Love has allowed me to become a better overall person. This is my reason as to why I choose Love as my favorite Driving Value. (Moses A)

Love is the strongest energy in the universe. Love is what connects us together and is the same love that gives us forgiveness and a fresh start when we fall. Without love, we will be in a mindset of selfishness and not caring for or about mankind. This true love was shown to me by a group of PEP brothers I now call family. (Rorry H)

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program’s Driving Value I choose is Love because it has a special meaning to me. First, let me start by explaining what this word means to me. The word “love” means to have a feeling of affection. I did not experience love in my family; it was more distant than close relationships with my family members. I have learned and have felt love in the last fifteen years with my daughters. I also help others because giving back to the community is love. I also read the Bible and go to church; that is where love begins. (Jose G)

“Love, so many people use your name in vain. Love, those who have faith in you sometimes go astray. Love, through all the ups and downs of joy and hurt. Love, whatever its worth I still would choose you first.” These lyrics are from one of the best songs ever written. Love is often overlooked, tragically expressed, and underrated. But be that as it may, love is still the best thing life has to offer. In love, we are forgiven. In love, burnt bridges are repaired. In love, families who are downtrodden and brokenhearted have hope, including the hope that we truly have changed and want a better life. In love, our loved ones hope that we truly are God-fearing men – the best kind of man there is, if you ask me. (William F)

I personally believe that without love, this world would be unrecognizable. We have been through a lot as a world, and it could have gone many different ways. As a person, if you don’t show love, you can’t show much of anything. Love is all-encompassing. Without love, we would not be much when it comes to being a family man or a man in general. That’s why I choose love. (William J)

Love is my favorite Driving Value because with love, we can overcome anything. Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves. My life changed when I learned how to love me, then I experienced joy and began loving others. To love unconditionally is to be authentic and true. (Quinntin H)

Love is my favorite Driving Value because everybody deserves love. Also, as a Christian I like to follow the commandment of Love Thy Neighbor. The world is and would be a better place if everybody would exercise this value. Nothing is done right if it isn’t done in love. You will never know when an act of kindness and love on your part will bless somebody at their lowest point – it can literally save a person’s life. That is why Love is my favorite Driving Value, because I love nothing more than seeing people happy with smiling faces that only love can bring. Love – everybody deserves it! (Michael I-G)

I chose love because as a Christian, we need to show compassion and understanding to others. It can be hard at times, but remembering all that Christ did can be a reminder who we are in him. One of most important Scriptures about love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, helpful, and trusting. Love never fails!” I truly believe this is the prefect definition for love. (Joseph L)

Love is my favorite Driving Value. None of the other nine Driving Values could exist without this all-important four letter word. Sadly, our culture finds it much more valuable to do the opposite, whether intentionally or not. Most people think that our world is being destroyed by natural disasters, catastrophic events or health-related issues, which in a way may actually have some validity; but if we really look at this with spiritual eyes, without bias, we will see that our world is suffering from a lack of love. Our world suffers from brokenness, poverty, violence, deception, selfishness, pride, lust, miscommunication and lack of friendship. We refuse to accept the very most precious thing that God gave us: Jesus Christ, the epitome of this exact word. This is why it was a comfort for him to sit among the thieves, so that he could love them; it was common for him to sit among the sick, so that he can love them and lead as an example; this is why it brought him great joy to feed the poor, so that it will also bring us great joy to embody this same example. If we practice and develop this characteristic, then our world, culture and community will reap the benefit that comes with it. (Chauvon M)

Love is my favorite Driving Value because without love, none of the other values are possible. I also believe that to live a life that is pleasing to my heavenly Father, my heart has to stay in the right place and always be full of love. I also stand on the promises of God and believe that love is the fulfillment of the law. When someone truly experiences love for the first time, it can be life changing in a very positive way. (Lorenzo T)

Love is very important in life. It’s in everything, from family, friends and even the food that we cook. We as a people need to keep in mind the need to spread love. (Cory P)

Love is something I value in my everyday life. And that’s why it is the Driving Value that has stuck with me the most. Being in an environment like this, a lot of my fellow brothers find it hard to show love, but I strongly believe PEP has changed that for a lot of us. With all the love to my fellow brothers of Fall ’19, your boy, Rocky the Squirrel. (Martin S)

Love – where should I begin? I chose love because I believe everybody deserves to be loved and shown love. That one word alone sums up many different meanings to many different people. There are two different types of love: tough love and regular love. People always seem to ask what is love. To me, it’s a positive feeling about someone or something. (Devonte S)

Love is my favorite Driving Value because it has shown me that if you are able to provide this awesome value to a group of people, they will have the potential to change their lives around for the better. God has given us the power of choice, and I choose to love God, myself, my family and others around me. I have experienced so many negative situations in prison, but the one thing I can truly identify for a fact is that there are a ton of people who were not shown the love they needed as they grew up. I share my love with my brothers all the time because I did not receive love as a child. Thanks to PEP, I’m able to be open with my brothers and family members. (Jorge P)

Love is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values. I truly believe everyone would be way better off if we just loved everybody. The word “love” is an action word and should always be taken seriously. I have used this word for both beneficial and selfish motives. I have asked many people in my life to forgive me for my actions. Matthew 6:33 says to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you.” God is love, and all His ways are love. So I have learned to love others by putting them first, always allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me and show me what their needs are. I truly love the new me. And in this love for myself and the love I have for Abba-Father, I love genuinely without wrong intentions. “If you want to be happy, just love.” (Bernardo V)

As men we are raised and taught: be tough, don’t cry and never be emotional. This mentality is far from the truth; in fact, it can and eventually will lead to destructiveness. It goes against the laws of nature – speaking of nature, stop and take a look at nature, where we can learn a lot from the male peacock. We promote false illusions for our youth instead of commitment and marriage; we teach the youth it’s okay to be a playboy, or it’s okay to have a lot of women. To the authentic man, love is to be respected, honored, cherished and nurtured. Love conquers all things big, tall or even small. Love to me is an action – even though we all enjoy hearing it, it’s best when it’s shown. When we love someone, especially a significant other, we must put their feelings before our own. Ask yourself before you’re about to do something you’ll eventually regret, “How would they feel if they knew?” I heard a wise man say that bad decisions don’t happen overnight; it’s an accumulations of things. If you can’t answer that question with a positive response, then whatever you’re considering is not righteous. (Briceon M)

Love is without a doubt my favorite Driving Value. Love sets the foundation for the other Driving Values to exist. Love makes life worth living and makes all of our relationships that much more intimate. Without love in your heart, how can you share in others accomplishments? What makes striving for excellence worth pursuing, or developing a servant-leader mentality worthwhile if love doesn’t dwell within? How long can a man’s soul withstand malnourishment, only to feed on hate, ignorance and confusion? Life loses its luster when love is absent. Drake’s artistic expression rings true when he said, “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives!” In my opinion, he was referring to a life lived without love. (Avery W)

I realize how love is important and how amazing it is. When I saw love as a Driving Value, I thought it meant to be in love with a person. But it means more than that – it means showing love to one another, to my brothers. At the end of the day, it makes me feel good as a person to help somebody to succeed in life. And when I need help or assistance, that person from his heart will stop from what he doing to help me – that’s what you call LOVE. (Santos Q)

 

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.

PEP’s definition of Servant-Leader Mentality says “we will lead by example, with humility at the sacrifice of personal glory,” and I totally agree with that. In addition, there is a willingness to assume full responsibility. The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistake and shortcoming of his follower. If one of his follower makes a mistake and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who has failed. (Sonsack X)

The reason I chose this particular Driving Value is the familiarity that it brings me. I have a strong desire to help and teach other individuals being led by my true, although raw nature of experience in order to help build strong foundations and provide greater opportunities. I want to be a blessing rather than continue generational curses by helping others (“each one teach one”). Leaders inspire, build and share knowledge, balanced with cultivating different people’s mindsets through action formatted by planning. Leaders lead, as demonstrated with our footprint, to see others succeed. (James D)

Servant-Leader Mentality is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. Servant-Leaders continually strive to be trustworthy, humble, caring, empowering, good stewards and community builders. During my work history, I started off as a good servant-leader, until my selfish ways took over. This led me to something my employer told me that I’ll never forget: “Lead by example, or leave by example.” (Daniel Y)

This is my favorite Driving Value because it represents a strong leader. I have thankfully had many great leaders in my life who have had a huge impact on what a leader means to me. Be willing to think of the next man and that person’s needs while you go through life, and I promise it will make all relationships better. (Tamer Z)

I am crazy about Servant-Leader Mentality because my hero was the one who pioneered the philosophy of Servant-Leader Mentality: Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great among one another must first be a ‘servant.’ He also said that he “didn’t come to be served, but to serve.” What a perfect example of Servant-Leader Mentality! I believe that Christ’s example is the epitome of what it is to be a servant-leader, and certainly an example for me as well. I have chosen this Driving Value because it encompasses all the other Driving Values in my opinion. (Gregg C)

Servant-Leader Mentality has a special quality within itself. There is purpose and drive behind it, and in all actuality it includes all 10 Driving values within it. In my opinion, love comes before it when it comes to the power of the values. With love in the lead, Servant-Leader Mentality is the coat-of-arms for the 10 Driving Values, representing what has been done, is being done, and what will always be done. (Leonard J)

Servant-Leader Mentality is my favorite Driving Value because it teaches me how to be a true leader in life. I believe to be a true leader, you first need to have the mentality to serve first so that then you can become a true leader in life. We can use Servant-Leader Mentality in all areas of life, which is why I chose this Driving Value as my favorite. (Ben O)

I had never heard of the term servant-leader before. In fact, I never imagined that a servant and a leader could coexist. Growing up surrounded by a loving family, a heart of servanthood gradually developed into a way of expressing toward people my sincere empathy, concern and best of interest. Having that indescribable feeling that overwhelmed me my entire childhood when placing others needs before my own – it is no longer indescribable! It is operating out of Love. The PEP program introduced me to what defines Servant-Leader Mentality. I have only begun to gain insight of how equipped we are to become courageous and effective leaders. This new developing mindset has shaken rooted qualities that laid dormant. I genuinely believe that because of the love experienced in my upbringing, I am blessed to articulate what drives me to serve and allow it to complement roles in my life that will require leadership in humility. (Brian R)

I find this word and definition to be one of my favorite ones out of the 10 Driving Values. Not only is it a positive value, but it’s about others and not just yourself. This value to me reflects all 10 Driving Values and sums it up into one. Servant-Leader Mentality allows you to hold yourself accountable for the sake of others who are looking to and watching you. It also promotes excellence, execution, wise-stewardship, integrity, “fresh start” outlook. It doesn’t stop there because it always brings out the best in you, so you can hold yourself accountable in all aspects, and fun has to be important, as well as innovation (key to others’ success) and love. Without love, then it all is done in vain without true effort in a positive and right direction. The term Servant-Leader Mentality may have been new to me, but now I’m glad I know it now because I truly do look to apply it (and all 10 Driving Values) in my life. Thank you PEP for all the love and servant-leadership you have freely given. May God bless you all always. (David P)

I firmly believe that by becoming a Servant-Leader, I have become the person that I am today. I’ve grown, from the negative person that I used to be to the person that I have become now. It has opened my eyes to realize how different I was intended to be. This is why I believe that this Driving Value has made a major impact in the way I look at life now. (Raul V)

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.

Wise Stewardship is the most important of the 10 Driving Values because it exemplifies each Driving Value. In utilizing this value, you show that you have a deep regard for all the other values. A wise steward has Love, Integrity, Fun, Excellence, Innovation, Servant-Leader Mentality, Accountability, “Fresh Start” Outlook, and Execution. (Scottie B)

I chose Wise Stewardship as my favorite Driving Value. Think about living without wanting to make wise decisions while being a leader – with that thought alone, you could easily lead yourself and others onto a rocky path. Wise Stewardship allows us to show how far we’ve come from experiences, teachings and other materials that just can’t be taught. It allows the best of those “lessons learned” to show through, understanding that the decisions we make affect others. It should be in our hearts to lead our fellow man in the right path, to continue walking in wisdom. An effective leader builds off of Wise Stewardship to help make daily decisions and to know if the choices made are the right ones morally – this can be accomplished by asking in-depth questions, such as “how does this affect me and the ones I love, the ones I lead and the ones who are watching?” Matthew 15:14 says, “Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch.” (Caleb F)