Week 19


Week in Review


Monday November 5, 2018

This morning, we had coffee cake for breakfast. Any day that starts with cake has to be awesome. Because of inclement weather, we had inside recreation at 7:20 a.m. There is always an opportunity to better ourselves here at the Cleveland Unit.

For many of us, it was a day of rest. Being that we are mostly finished with our lessons, computer lab was canceled today. So, we were able to rest and relax all morning.

Then, Brian T. (a.k.a. “Cruella de Vil”) came after lunch to teach us some very important aspects of business pitching. But first, we performed a test run for our graduation ceremony. We did really well for the second go at it. After that, we broke into groups of three and discussed the feedback and changes we are set to make in our Business Plan Competition pitches.

All in all, it was a great day at PEP. Each of us is really excited to be approaching the completion day and are using every spare moment to perfect our pitches.

Kristopher P. (a.k.a. “Cherry Dr. Pepper”)


Tuesday November 6, 2018

Today was another day off for the class of Fall ’18. Although, truly, we never have a day off as we are constantly pitching our business plans to each other. After the event last week, we are tweaking our pitches to get ready for the Business Plan Competition. Every day the dayrooms are full of men doing productive things to ensure a great future for themselves.

Our class time has diminished, but we find ways to stay involved. We are encouraged by the PEP staff and the Servant-Leaders not to get complacent. During this idle time, it can be easy to slip back into old habits, so we must stay focused and remember that we are new creations. Many of us stay involved by working as Servant-Leaders, every Tuesday and Thursday, for the new class of Spring ’19.

Fearless Fall ’18 brothers, the countdown to graduation is underway. Only one more month and we can celebrate our efforts. We look forward to making our families proud and seeing the joy on their faces as we walk across that stage. Thank you PEP for making it happen.

Zachery R. (a.k.a. “Sweet and Low”)


Wednesday November 7, 2018

Today we worked on our Coats of Arms to send to our loved ones back home. We had to put in some quality time to make them A-1. This was a great experience for all of us. The transformation that our minds have undertaken is remarkable. We want to thank PEP for the support that they have given to us and our families.

We are headed for home base brothers. They say “almost” is not good enough, so let’s finish our job and walk across that stage as one and make our families – and ourselves – happy. Let’s continue to do what we do best, and that is win. We are Fearless Fall ’18. We are what PEP stands for. We have 30 days and we’re on the count down. To all my brothers, let’s do this! “You cannot grow unless you are willing to change. You will never improve yourself if you cling to what you used to be.”

Kenji M. (a.k.a. “I Got Hit”)


Thursday November 8, 2018

Another wonderful day here at the Cleveland Unit for the class of Fearless Fall ’18. Today started our 30-day countdown to graduation. As far as classroom hours go, we have slowed down tremendously, but not for lack of things to do – quite the contrary.

We just had our Pitch Day event last Friday, where we pitched our semi-final business presentation. It was a semi-final because the results and feedback from that event have given us the insight needed to build our FINAL business presentation for the Business Plan Competition. So our days from this moment on consist of mostly practicing our pitches for the upcoming competition. Here at the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, we believe whole-heartedly that practice makes perfect. Every dorm is filled with the buzz of mock pitch panels and conversations amongst each other to refine and polish our presentations.

Aside from that, we are also doing the best we can in helping our brothers of the new class, Spring ’19, to study and pass their “first five” test for entry into Phase Two. They are coming along well, and it’s inspiring to reflect on the course that we take together.

Travis W. (a.k.a. “Lucky Charms”)


Friday November 8, 2018

In B-dorm, we started the day practicing and discussing our Business Plan Competition pitches. To the best of our knowledge, there has never been a B-dorm champion, and we want to change that. We practice daily in front of peer panels and give each other encouragement and constructive criticism. B-dorm is the best!

After lunch, Fall ’18, PEP graduates and Spring ’19 were all called together to meet with Dr. Bob W., who is the leader and sponsor of the PEP book club. We had all read All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, and then Dr. Bob brought the movie for us to watch on the big screen. The book was very interesting concerning the similar thoughts and feelings experienced by soldiers and prisoners. For example, the soldier and inmate both sit and wonder how the wife and kids are doing. We also both experience a wave of joy when a piece of handwritten mail arrives from the family. It was a good read and we are looking forward to our next book, Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

We closed out the day just like we started it on B-pod – Practice! Practice! Practice! Best Pod!

Thomas J. (a.k.a. “Sour Skittles”)



“We can choose to be affected by the world or we can choose to affect the world.”

~ Heidi Wills

Our beliefs, values and attitudes are a lens through which we view the world. If they are distorted then so is our reality. For many of us, it’s hard not to think of ourselves as the victims of circumstance. In one way or another, we’ve been beaten down by a life full of disappointments and often feel defeated. The problem is that this perspective of life has dire consequences. It creates pessimism, fear and doubt, which can wreak havoc on our futures.

When we take the attention off of ourselves and look at others, we realize that we are not so different from anyone else. Nobody’s life is perfect. All of us have faced challenges, been disappointed or didn’t get their way. It’s just life! By realizing this, we are able to see our lives from a different perspective. So when life is hard, embrace the struggle. It only makes us stronger. Instead of seeing ourselves as pawns in the great game of life, we must realize that we are the kings!

Timothy D. (a.k.a. “Ren”)