Week 11

Week in Review

Monday March 11, 2019

This morning, we were informed that the unit would go on lockdown. Many of us dread this inevitability, but it provides us with the opportunity to catch up on reading, writing our families and editing our business plans. Just because we are on lockdown, that doesn’t mean that there is not plenty to do. We have the Integrity Selling book to read, with Entrepreneurship and Living in the Village tests coming up. There is no rest for the budding entrepreneur!

That alone is enough to keep many of us busy. Still, the man who wishes to be successful must make the most of every moment. Therefore, we will utilize this downtime to brainstorm about how to perfect our business pitches and work out the financial portions of our business plans. It’s all about time management!

Kevin P. (a.k.a. Hoppin’ Bob)

Tuesday March 12, 2019

There was no class today. However, it provided us with an opportunity to reflect on projects and assignments that we received the previous week. Two of PEP’s Family Liaisons came to visit us on Saturday. They gathered all the necessary information to ensure that we would have an amazing graduation. While this was taking place, we participated in team building exercises.

Each team was given a scenario and a budget of one million dollars. Every team member was tasked with a different department pertaining to the designated scenario and allotted a portion of the one million dollars. Not only did we learn how to put together a corporate party for business executives, we worked together as a team, with each department communicating with other departments to bring the project to fruition.

We now know that when working together to brainstorm and coordinate, we have better ideas, collectively, than each of us does individually.

Darryle M. (a.k.a. Fun Dip)

Wednesday March 13, 2019

We are approaching the final stage of our amazing PEP journey. We are preparing for our last three months of hard work and dedication which will carry us on to graduation.

We just updated our financials. This will help us to fully realize what it will take to get our businesses started and what we stand to both profit and gain from our entrepreneurial endeavors. We, as a class, have been using this experience to transform the very foundation of our new lives.

We are studying for the Chapter 8 test, which is over establishing a financial foundation. This chapter will help us to perform rational calculations and analyze our businesses from various perspectives.

We still make time to assist the Fall ’19 class through Phase One of their journey and encourage them to stand strong as they begin the transformation process.

Thomas R. (a.k.a. Ninja Turtle)

Thursday March 14, 2019

Having no classes today provided us with the perfect opportunity to become better acquainted with our cellmates. We spoke about where and how we were raised, and what we were doing before we came to prison. This eventually transitioned into the guilt and shame that we harbor over the nature and specifics of our crimes.

A great healing effect takes place when we share our stories with fellow brothers, and they help to lighten the burden of guilt from our shoulders. Realizing that the guilt can hold us back in life, we are now free to move on with our lives. We are on a mission to become men of good character. By the time we complete this leg of our journey, we will truly be authentic men. We love this program, not only for what it is doing for us right now, but also what it is doing for our futures.

Deangelo M. (a.k.a. Fetty Wopp)

Friday March 15, 2019

Today was the first day off of lockdown. Everyone was in the dayroom, as soon as the doors opened, with a cup of coffee in one hand and a program book or study guide in the other. Sadly, we soon discovered there would be no class today.

Every one of us was so energized and ready to do something. Despite the fact that there would be no class, no one went back to bed. Each of us joined one of several study groups in preparation for Living in the Village, Toastmasters and our Entrepreneurship classes.

The groups began to thin out as the day progressed, only to increase again in size as evening approached. Each individual reviewed what he had learned that day, keeping his mind focused on the tests that are coming up next week. We were all disappointed that we missed a week of class, but we look forward to making it up.

Alberto R. (a.k.a. Hot Tamale)


“Some truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up; at least a little bit.”

~ Edward Murrow

Am I the only one who has ever covered up truths about myself, because those truths were just too difficult to face? Probably not! When the abuse that I was subjected to as a child became too much to bear, I covered it up by emotionally separating myself from others. When the weight of my seclusion became too great, I covered the abuse and the isolation with drugs and alcohol.

As my life continued to spiral out of control, I added a good measure of self-loathing to the already toxic concoction. The ultimate product was a wasted life, full of bitterness and rage. Not only had I managed to poison myself, I seemed to either infect or emotionally destroy all of those unfortunate enough to have been placed in my life. So it was no wonder that I should awaken in a jail cell, only to realize that I had alienated everyone who had ever cared for me and was soon to lose everything that I owned.

As painful as all of that was to endure, coming to prison was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I was forced to take a good, long look at myself. Suffice it to say, I did not like what I saw. However, it afforded me the opportunity to start over and reprogram the way I viewed myself and the way that I treated others. Those same old truths are still painful to think about, but instead of covering them up, I use them as a foundation upon which I will build my new life.

James R. (a.k.a. Biscuit and Jelly)