Monday, September 10, 2018

Today was a typical Monday in Phase Two. If you are wondering what Phase Two is, it is the second part of the nine month Prison Entrepreneurship Program. The first three months, which is known as Phase One, works on character development. Some say it’s the best part of the program. For most of us that have gone through the first phase, our eyes were opened to what true authentic manhood is, which is very important for our success as fathers, husbands and men.

But now that we are in Phase Two, our class today worked on the business aspect of this program. We had our Toastmasters class, which is an international program that helps us become confident public speakers. It’s very exciting to take part in these meetings, because we are nervous but are always ready to hear a good story or speech. These speeches take place all day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

One bonus that we had today was that the CEO and two Regional Directors of Management Training Corporation (MTC), which is the Cleveland Unit’s security staff, stopped in to ask us a few questions. It’s like the saying goes here in PEP: Stay ready to keep from getting ready! – because you never know who’s going to show up. Our guests always say they hear a lot of good things about us, and that’s always uplifting to hear, especially after working so hard on our assignments day in and day out here at the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

Jason S. (a.k.a. “Big Bird”)


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Today we had our History Class. We watched a very interesting video about the Barbarians. This is one of many classes that we have every week. Even though we don’t have to test on these videos anymore, we still enjoy watching them. We saw the course of actions that sparked the war and the after effects too. We will follow up with another video of the Barbarians next week and are all looking forward to it.

Watching these videos causes us to consider the historical impact of September 11th and the lives that have been sacrificed throughout the history of our nation to maintain our freedom. Today, we remembered the lives that we lost 17 years ago. God Bless You.

After class, the dayrooms were full of brothers studying for tomorrow’s test in Bert S.’s (a.k.a. “Chocolate Truffles”) class. We worked together by making flash cards and going back and forth with each other. This brotherhood is amazing! We are all very fortunate to be a part of the program. Thank you PEP.

Erik S. (a.k.a. “Jethro Bodien”)


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The day finally arrived for Fall ’18 to take Chapter Seven’s, “Financing and Accounting” test in Bert S.’s (a.k.a. “Chocolate Truffles”) class. We studied all week long for this test. Once the test was over with, we went straight into Chapter Nine, “Establishing the Legal Foundation” with Bert S. He really knows how to talk to us and doesn’t leave us confused by the end. If we have any questions, he is more than willing to answer them during and after class. We found the presentation on Chapter Nine concerning the legalities of business to be very informative and important. We got to learn the differences of the three legal forms of business, and also watched two films about them. We also watched another video about the introduction of a patent company.

Bert S. also informed us that once we’re released, we can always stop by PEP’s Corporate Office to seek advice and help on filling out paperwork for registering our businesses. It is good to know that we have a place like PEP to help us with issues such as these for helping us start our business. Thank you, and God bless you, PEP Corporate Office!

In addition, we had two unexpected visitors from Australia. The woman’s name was Georgia and she had a business associate with her. He didn’t talk very much, but she was very lively. Of course, they started off dancing up from the back of the room. It was great!

Juan L. (a.k.a. “Michael Phelps”)


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Today in class we had a test on Living in the Village, which is our financial literacy course. For most of us, it is the first time that we’ve learned anything about managing our financial affairs. This class is also teaching us how to build a better community, which starts in our homes first as being better fathers, husbands and men.

As a family in PEP, we learn more about ourselves and each other every day. Our families are thankful for this, because they can see the change in us. They can’t wait for us to come home and be the leaders we were destined to be.

In the afternoon, everyone on the Cleveland Unit had a great time playing Bingo in the gym. Refreshments were given to everyone who participated, and prizes were handed out to the winners. This was truly a blessing to everyone, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our Unit Educational Counselor, Ms. Harris. Thank You to everyone.

Alvin B. (a.k.a. “Jerome Jerome”)


Friday, September 14, 2018

Just like every other morning in PEP, we woke up to positive energy that could be felt in the air. A brother is always welcoming with a handshake and a “good morning” on the side.

We did not have a test this morning, so a few of us decided to visit the Friday morning Devotional Class. For some of us, it was our first time. We watched a three-hour video about how hip-hop rap has a big negative impact on everyone, especially our children. We learned that we as men should teach our children the value of becoming a good loving parent first and then focus on their careers.

After dinner, we had our weekly accountability group meetings and discussed the topic of the week: acting mature. The rest of the evening was a relaxed one at PEP. We all came together as a pod and ended the day with Bingo night. This is an average day in PEP.

Brandan G. (a.k.a. “Captain Crunch”)



“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.”

  • Ben Sweetland

The foundation of this program is built upon the time, passion and love of those executives and mentors who believe in us, but more importantly by our very own PEP brothers. As a peer-driven program, we could not possibly survive without the efforts of those graduates – now Servant-Leaders – who came before us and give back with the kindness of their hearts.

As a hand-up program, there must be one man above to reach down and pull his brother up. Fearless Fall ’18, as Leadership Academy begins for Spring ’19, you are now in the position to reach down and help the next man. So many brothers come here and never get to experience the full power of this program. Sure, everyone is offered the chance at Leadership Academy and the Business Plan Competition, but the other part of this program must be opened from inside our hearts. It’s the part where we decide to give back to others all that we’ve gained from this opportunity, and to show the love that has been freely given to us by so many people.

So as Leadership Academy begins, think about your place in the new class and how you will give back. How will you be remembered by your younger brothers? Will you leave a legacy, or will you be forgotten as just another face in the crowd? I encourage each and every one of you to light the path of another, so you may experience the true power and love of not only this program but of your destiny.

Timothy D. (a.k.a. “Ren”)