Week 21


Week in Review


Monday May 21, 2018

Today, Spring ’18 was called out to do a pray-out for some of our brothers who are blessed to be able to go home. First, allow me to explain what a pray-out is. A pray-out something we do when a PEP brother is on his way out of the prison system. It is a video where a brother’s closest friends – up to five people – give him some encouraging words so he can look back and remember where he came from.

These words are supposed to help him stay on the right path. At the end of the pray-outs, we come together as a whole and have one final class prayer together. Today we prayed out six of our PEP brothers. This is a very emotional part of our culture because we care about each other and this is just another way we express it.

Gus S. (a.k.a. “Gus the Bus”)


Tuesday May 22, 2018

Today started out when the selected brothers of Spring ’18 attended Leadership Academy for the next class, Fall ’18. While being servant-leaders in small groups, we were able to express our care and concern for them as they are getting ready to wrap up things with the Men’s Life program. We remember … it seems like yesterday when we were in the same seats as they are now. We were all nervous and anticipating our graduation. From the conversations that we had, we are sure that they will do just fine.

The Soldiers of Spring ’18 are encouraged to start giving back to the Fall ’18 class (if we haven’t started already). Not only do they need our support, they deserve to see first-hand what it’s like to succeed here and in everything they put their minds to – a true visual of what it will be is yet to come.

Kevin M. (a.k.a. “Franz”)


Wednesday May 23, 2018

Being involved in the last stages of Phase Two in PEP, there is never a dull moment. Every day we are involved in an intense regimen on our path to graduation. Today was a day that reminds me how serious this program is and how much they want to see us succeed. From our professor Bert S. to Kristie W., who came and spent a few hours with us this morning, being successful and making the correct decisions is what this program is about. How far we want to go in life is all our own decision, but PEP equips us with the proper tools to do so.

This morning we were graced by the pleasant presence of Kristie W., who took time out of her schedule to give us a concise, yet powerful class on how to create a proficient resume. For men getting out of prison, especially after a long period of incarceration, creating a resume is one of the most intimidating obstacles we face. Also, we were given good advice on checking “the box.” For those not aware, “the box” refers to the question on job applications that asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” Kristie W. taught us to be as honest as possible on our applications and resumes, while insisting we show our preparedness and progress in life. One should not underestimate how daunting these issues are for us, but Kristie W. made it logical and restored our hope.

Adam W. (a.k.a. “Milk Dud”)


Thursday May 24, 2018

Today, some of the Soldiers of Spring ’18 had computer lab today. In lab they taught us how to use programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This is very helpful for individuals who have been incarcerated for a while. We had the opportunity to check out books from the PEP library and look over business plans from previous classes.

The rest of the Soldiers of Spring ’18 worked on their pitches and business plans. We are having our Business Plan Competition on June 7th, and we are doing our best to make our families proud. Our teacher, Bert S., has instilled great knowledge in us and we are eager to put it to use.

Erik J. (a.k.a. “Secret Sauce”)


Friday May 25, 2018

Our brothers returned from their last meal of the day and got together to have an accountability group meeting. We prayed in and got the meeting started. This week the theme of the meeting was relationships. We all agreed that the most important part of our accountability meetings and PEP as a whole is for us to come together as brothers and build strong bonds.

We believe the love that we show each other on a daily basis will help us become better men, and we agree that we have grown a bond as strong as family. We are all glad to be here and to be able to turn a bad situation into an opportunity to help ourselves and others.

Manuel M. (a.k.a. “Smeagal”)



“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

– Albert Einstein

Someone who has a more sophisticated understanding, a more predictively accurate understanding, and/or an understanding that allows them to make explanations that others commonly judge to be better, is said to comprehend things “deeply.”  Conversely, someone who has a more limited understanding struggles to convey his knowledge to others.

Therefore, it is important for an individual to challenge himself so that he is able to learn something “deeply” which will provide him with the opportunity to convey his newly acquired understanding to others. If something is too hard for you to explain, try a little more research.

Alex P. (a.k.a. “Tinky Winky”)