Week in Review

Monday, February 17, 2020

Today was another exciting day for the class of Spring 2020. We went to our Toastmasters International class and sharpened up our public speaking skills. We are getting ourselves ready for the upcoming Business Plan Competition. Every day, we are gaining knowledge and confidence that will be put on full display when we are called to execute our pitches in front of the executive panel.

We arrived here as individuals not knowing what to expect from PEP. In no time, we all became brothers. It is a beautiful thing to see all of these men push each other toward excellence. The positivity is absolutely infectious.

Graduation is quickly approaching, but we realize that this is only the beginning. The bonds we are forming in here will last a lifetime. As long as we hold each other accountable and continue to live up to PEP’s standard, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

Vincent B. (a.k.a. “Short Round”)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Today is usually my off day. Only instead of sitting around watching reruns on TV, we all got together and formed a study group for our upcoming test. We are supportive of each other and take time throughout our day to help one another excel, whether it be in PEP or life in general.

Seeing how far we have come since day one amazes me sometimes. When my cellmate gets done taking care of his daily duties, we are going to study for the names test, which is where we will have to remember everyone’s name in the class. We’ll end the night off by watching the new series called “For Life” on ABC.Wish us luck with everything, and I hope to see you guys at graduation.

Sean B. (a.k.a. “French Montana”)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Today at 9 a.m., we had the “names test,” which was a surprise. Luckily, we were ready, and most of us knew each other’s names. We only could miss 18 people, and I only missed one person who isn’t even here anymore. We were pumped up by this test.

Also, we had our Entrepreneurship test at 1 p.m., and after we took the test, our teacher said we were ahead of schedule. He then told us we could listen to music or watch a movie. Our class decided to watch the new Lion King, which was awesome.

Today was an overall great day. We’re grateful to be here and to be nine weeks away from graduation. We all feel like all of the hard work is going to pay off. I look forward to walking the stage with my PEP brothers.

Jacob C. (a.k.a. “Baby Avocado”)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Today it is kind of dreary outside, but here on the inside my PEP brothers and I are happy for a number of reasons. The first reason is that our brothers of Fall 2020 have arrived and have started their journey. Brothers, it won’t be easy, but don’t give up – go through the fire courageously.

The second reason we feel cheerful is that our names test is over. The names test is where we learn the first and last names of our brothers. The test is extensive, with close to 100 faces we had to put names to. The lesson holds true: we should all know our brothers’ names. Ronald Reagan knew the names of all his service men, their wives and children. The lesson is to know and serve the people around you.

Our third reason for joy is Living in The Village class is over, meaning graduation is close at hand. Before I close, I would like to acknowledge our Father in heaven. Thank you for all our blessings, both here in PEP and with our families.  

Clifton C. (a.k.a. “Buddy Holly”)

Friday, February 21, 2020

As we woke up this morning, we all knew that today was Fall 2020’s Kickoff Event, which is when we officially gain new PEP brothers. Welcoming them to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program is something we are happy to do. We wanted to kick off the event with excitement and improvement, and we welcomed our brothers of Fall 2020 with open arms and success.

We are also looking forward to seeing them graduate in November. With great hope, we pray that each of them gets what he is looking for out of PEP. We will do whatever it takes to help them accomplish that. We will also take the time needed to help them with their studies and homework.

Jamorris C. (a.k.a. “Jack in the Box”)


When a man is locked up alone, he is forced to come to terms with himself, with his God and with the reality of his life before him. There’s no place to hide, no remote control to channel surf, no job to work overtime, no toys or diversions. Often, men who have endured external imprisonment finally face the internal imprisonment that most men face each and every day.

                                                                                                                        ~ T.D. Jakes

The older I get, the more I realize I was never truthfully free: captive to my addictions; a slave to my flesh; imprisoned by my own thoughts and beliefs. I was raised to believe immorality was a virtuous character trait and a criminal mindset was the social norm. I covered all of my insecurities with a mask of money, illegal substances and false confidence. Now I sit here exposed, the truth hitting me harder than a thousand pound anvil. I have no choice but to correct the errors of my ways or be destroyed by my own misery. With faith and courage, I started to cultivate my mind, digging up all impurities that have been deeply rooted in my soul from early on in life; not settling for the lies of brokenness, depression and hopelessness; only accepting the excellence that is in all of us. I’ve recently come to believe we are all great, because the God that lives in us will not allow us to be anything less.   

Joseph M. (a.k.a. “Michael Blackson”)