Monday, May 20, 2019
Today was the first of many graduation ceremony practices. Every soul is elated that we have finally made it to this point in the program. We are constantly going over our pitches and discussing our plans. Each one of us are imagining the looks on our loved ones’ faces as they see us walking across that stage to receive our diploma.
There is a confirmation that we see, feel, and consistently remind one another of: “Life is about choices.” The choices that we’ve made have resulted in the completion of this program. Each of us are experiencing a happiness and a sense of completion that we have not felt in a long time. Still, the best part of the program takes place after graduation. This is when we will become Servant-Leaders and fulfill our part of the PEP brotherhood.
Johnny H. (a.k.a. “Mr. Ed”)
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Today was quite different from our average Tuesday. For the first time in months, we didn’t have to worry about studying for a test. Instead, we spent the day polishing up our business pitches for the upcoming competition in nine short days. Our anticipation and enthusiasm are constantly on the rise as we count down to graduation.
Now is the time for us to step into the role of Servant-Leaders. Graduation does not signify the end of our journey; it is a new beginning. We, the conquerors of Spring ’19, are finishing our business plans, but we are starting all over by helping the Fall ’19 class start their business plans.
We have had excellent examples of Servant-Leaders around, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand. Hopefully we will be able to provide the same level of guidance and insight for the next class. This whole process has been such a blessing to us! We are reformed men now, striving to live out PEP’s 10 Driving Values.
Joseph D. (a.k.a. “Radio Flyer”)
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Today is exactly nine days from graduation and we just attended our third Servant-Leader meeting. It’s getting real, guys! The class of Spring ’19, the Conquerors, are super-excited about the many blessings headed our way. Pat M. and Greg P. gave us all words of encouragement and warned us of the dangers that come with complacency, as failure simply isn’t an option for a Conqueror.
We have witnessed the impossible as we have conquered the haters. We have overcome the wreckage of indecorous motives and slayed the adversities of naysayers. Our families are all the better for our accomplishments and our future is promising. It isn’t so much the destination as it is the journey. We are constantly reminded of our future, yet we remain ever-aware of how even the smallest misstep will expose our past. We’ve trained ourselves to accept it as lessons learned, and we’ve learned to embrace it as pages turned.
It’s truly a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We are conquerors, and we will not settle for less!
David E. (a.k.a. “Mr. Rogers”)
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Today has been a blast! We practiced our graduation ceremony again. We ran through our pitches for what seemed like the thousandth time, but each of us fully realizes how important this event is. We have come so far and have learned so very much. For most of us, this is the greatest sense of accomplishment that we have ever felt.
There were times when we felt down, depressed or thought that the assignments were just too hard but, somehow, we found the strength to endure. We have seen brothers give up and quit, and others who were separated, but we are still here. We truly want something different out of life!
God has indeed blessed us and brought us to this point. We are the chosen! We want to thank our wonderful PEP family for sticking with us. We thank God for our wonderful family that awaits us on the outside, and the ones who told us to hang in there and not give up. We love you all dearly and appreciate all that you’ve done.
Kendrick C. (a.k.a. “Carlton”)
Friday, May 24, 2019
The class of Spring ’19 has made it to the finish line, only to enter a new beginning as future entrepreneurs. With graduation in sight, we now look back on how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown, both mentally and spiritually, these last eight months. It was really worth every class and assignment that PEP required of us.
Every PEP brother that stuck it out has earned so much more than a certificate; they have received a whole new family. May we continue to be teachable as we enter into the roles of Servant-Leaders. For it is only through continual learning and spiritual growth that we will make our mark upon the world. We are Conquerors and we are on a mission to make the world a better place.
Caleb F. (a.k.a. “Barney”)
“Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor.”
The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is readying itself to celebrate another graduation on the Cleveland Unit. The class of Spring ’19 has spent the last several months freeing themselves of character defects, developing an authenticity of genuine manhood and learning to think like a legitimate businessman. If you were to ask them why they embarked upon this journey, you would discover that they did not do it for themselves. They have endured this season of transformation for the ones that look up to them and/or depend on them.
Graduation is not their destination; it is merely an achievement and a means. Every accomplishment that they have earned; every obstacle that they have traversed, is the foundation on which they will build their future. Their success lies in the principles upon which they stand.
James R. (a.k.a. “Biscuits and Jelly”)