Week in Review

Monday, February 10, 2020

Since His mercy is new every morning, we are able to recognize that God woke us up and no one else. As we recognize His presence, our attitude improves and our desire to serve Him increases. With smiles on our faces, some of us went to the computer lab. It was time for us to put the final touch on our business plans for the next event at the end of this month.

It is amazing to experience how close we are only six months into the program. Just like family members with the same goal, we want to be significant in each other’s lives. Today, staff handed us the character assessment reports. These revealed how we are perceived by our accountability group and the rest of our peers in the dorms. It is always good to get constructive criticism on our character from friends and loved ones. The areas we need to lift up and the qualities to strengthen for maturity are further developed every day. No doubt, we are what we think.

Luis C. (a.k.a. “Maistro Miyagi”)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

As we started the day, we found ourselves at an unusual point in time. It was a day off and not too much was going on within the Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program. Although many of us still crowded the PEP library and computer lab doing our best to perfect our business plans, others were fortunate to attend a monthly movie as a reward for excellent conduct. It is a blessing to be able to enjoy a good film every once in a while with fellow PEP brothers. Even in the down time, we’ve learned to live a noble lifestyle.

It was truly a welcome change of pace, but we must still prepare for the rest of the week. At the end of the day, it was back to studying in order to pass the big test we have in Entrepreneurship class tomorrow. It is important for us to improve our GPAs so we can let our families know we are taking this program seriously, always keeping our sights on the greater good at the end: graduation!

Tomas A. (a.k.a. “Sweet Tony Soprano”)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Today we started off after everyone arrived to the PEP room by taking a test over the last chapter we studied. While the tests have not become easier, it has become easier to form some kind of groove when it comes to studying. Jose C. is also an intelligent teacher. He has a good understanding of how to tell us things that always make us think more deeply about something.

He talked about different things we can take into consideration when it comes to promoting our businesses, like having an open mind to new innovative ways to get our businesses into people’s minds. Today was a time when we really had to put forth an effort to see how people get their message across. Another consideration is effective use of social media to reach new potential customers.

Our Business Plan Workshop event is coming up in a couple weeks, and the other guys are talking about it daily. Today gave me more ideas to add to my business plan. As things move along, I find it easier to be more confident in my plan. This was a productive informative day for us all.

Michael B. (a.k.a. “Sheryl”)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Today was one of the better days we’ve experienced. It started out like any other day. Then, out of nowhere, we were called out to the PEP classroom to hear a presentation by a professor from the University of Houston. The man volunteered his time to come talk to us about public speaking. This will help us with our business plan pitches for the upcoming competition.

He went through different facial expressions, hand gestures and influential tactics that affect people while they’re listening to someone speaking. We felt privileged because it was the same class he teaches his MBA students at the University of Houston. He gave us all a newfound confidence when it comes to speaking in front of large crowds.

It was amazing how he was able to relay the information to us effectively. We were shocked when we found out he came from a similar background as most of us. It was an interesting lecture, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Knowledge is an important component to being successful, and one we can never have enough of – plus, it’s easier to retain the information when you make the class fun.  

Dustin H. (a.k.a. “Fog Horn Leg Horn”)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Today marked the end of our Living in The Village lessons. We’ve been reading this book by Ryan C. Mack for a few months now and testing on the most important parts of it. The slide shows we were shown in class reviewed topics like home ownership, responsible spending, credit scores and bank accounts. The Servant Leaders who have taught the class have done a very good job at putting together the material.

We also took a test that summarized the last chapter we read. It turned out to be pretty easy. The Servant Leader who taught the class even gave us a test on listening skills to see how many people would follow directions properly. Since beginning the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, studying has become easier. It gets easier to retain information as we go because of the positive atmosphere here. For most of us, PEP is way different from the places we’ve come from. Thankfully, testing has become more natural for us now.

Selwyn D. (a.k.a. “Muggsy Bogues”)


“The biggest oak tree in the forest was once just a nut who stood its ground.”

                                                                                                           ~ Tom Ackers

Faith is a word rarely used in faith. Those who honestly master the concept will produce the fruit thereof, reflecting the light of the world while accomplishing all goals they aim to achieve. Their visions are too wide to explain to another with mere words.

They often seem crazy or out of touch with the masses, like Martin Luther King, Einstein or Vincent van Gogh – these are just a few examples of those who have run the race to success while making it look easy to all spectators. They treated everything as just another opportunity for growth and development, eventually excelling as they reached their destinations. It’s not that obtaining success was easy for them. It’s just as hard for them as it is for anybody else.

The difference is that they discovered a key secret to life: more life. They had unwavering belief, steadfast faith and an all-knowing, resolute assurance of their eventual success. No matter what, stand your ground, and what you desire most in this life will come to you. No matter if it’s that start-up entrepreneurial business, a big house, a successful career, a Master’s degree, a beautiful wife, well-mannered kids, or a raise at work. It will come, so have faith.

Joseph M. (a.k.a. “Michael Blackson”)