Monday, May 13, 2019

We were called down early to the PEP classroom, where we either practiced our pitches in front of the class or made t-shirts for the bears we will give to the children at graduation. Spring ’19 has come a long way! We are preparing for the Business Plan Competition and graduation.

It has been a long nine months, but the Conquerors of Spring ’19 have made it. We have grown as men and developed real and lasting friendships. We are all looking forward to walking across that stage and making our families proud.

Timothy B. (a.k.a. “Waterboy”)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Graduation day is just around the corner. Though it may seem like the end of something, it is really the beginning of a second chance; a true fresh start. For many of us, that means a legitimate chance for a good life. If we continue to implement PEP’s 10 Driving Values into our lives, we can’t help but to excel and succeed. These values have been enforced daily and applied rigorously to our lives.

PEP is a true brotherhood, we are all in agreement of this. Having seen and experienced the program on the inside, we cannot wait to see what awaits us upon release. PEP is good about keeping promises, so we eagerly and earnestly await the resources and opportunities that they provide. These assets will be instrumental in our mission to live life to the fullest.

There will be no handouts, only hand ups. It is not short cuts that we seek, but rather the network of successful individuals who truly believe in us. We believe that PEP is a stepping stone on the path to our intended destinations. It has been a blessing for us and, with our contributions and assistance, it will continue to be for many others after us. We are thankful to PEP and all of its supporters!

Donald B. (a.k.a. “Don Cornelius”)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The day started early for those of us in Spring ’19. We joined together with the former classes to attend a Servant-Leader meeting. These meetings are intended to bring everyone together to discuss issues, upcoming events, encourage one another and just enjoy a little fellowship. We are here to help each other as Servant-Leaders, and we are tasked with the building up and running of the in-prison program to the best of our abilities.

After lunch, we were blessed to attend a presentation by guest speaker, Mark S. He helped us to improve our presentation skills in preparation of the Business Plan Competition. He showed us a 12-step technique to being a better speaker. Mark worked through every step individually and answered all of our questions. It was truly an amazing presentation, and we are very lucky to have received it.

Mark finished his presentation and we moved on to implementing his techniques in our pitches. One by one, we stood before the class and recited the opening for our pitches that we have been working on for a few months now. Using the information that Mark gave us helped us improve our body language and the ability to speak with a specific purpose in mind. It was a very helpful day, and we feel that we learned a lot!

Thanks to PEP and Mark, we were given the gift of an eloquent and expertly-prepared presentation. This will help us not only in this program, but throughout the rest of our lives to be better salesmen. With these skills, we will be valuable assets to any business that we enter.

Ryan C. (a.k.a. “Chicken Little”)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Today was a busy day for the Conquerors of Spring ’19. We woke up early to finish the few remaining computer lab assignments. Each one of us had to select one of PEP’s 10 Driving Values and write about why we like it and what it means to us. We also had to vote for which brothers we believe best exhibit each of the 10 Driving Values. The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at graduation.

Back on the pods (dorms), we are studying for the final test in the program. We will be tested on parts five and six of the book Crime and Punishment. The rest of our spare time was spent practicing and preparing our pitches for the Business Plan Competition. It has been a long road, but those of us who have hung in there have earned the right to walk across that stage at graduation. Congratulations, brothers, we are almost there!

Kenneth C. (a.k.a. “Keenan”)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Today, we took our last two Crime and Punishment tests, consisting of parts five and six. Crime and Punishment turned out to be a really good book! We learned many new words from the book, with its nearly 200 vocabulary words. More importantly, we learned moral values and a new understanding of right and wrong. As a class, Spring ’19 is very relieved to be done with tests.

Once we finished our tests, we got to do something very exciting. We started our Coats of Arms, and it was fun! Everyone got to pick a superhero and color them. Then we cut pictures and phrases out of magazines to paste on our Coats of Arms. We will present them to our families at graduation.

We, the Class of Spring ’19, are very excited about the upcoming Business Plan Competition and graduation. We have all worked very hard and put in a lot of effort to get to this point. The changes have been nothing short of miraculous. We have made major accomplishments in character development, etiquette and business. We have earned the name of Conquerors of Spring ’19!    

Felipe C. (a.k.a. “Old Spice”)


Those who never make mistakes work for those of us who do.

~ Henry Ford

Many artists shape their mistakes into beauty. Many scientists stumble upon miraculous inventions by pure mishap. A military platoon is saved because the driver of the lead truck is rear ended by the following truck a mile before a huge I.E.D.

All of these are fine examples of learning. Sure, the path of a leader isn’t always going to be full of folly, but it will meet fate. A good leader avoids mistakes but a great leader can navigate through the worst.

It is okay to make mistakes. The person who believes in terminating another person’s position because of a mistake doesn’t understand this. We learn from our mistakes, even when we don’t realize it right away.

Guy P. (a.k.a. “Slingblade”)