Week in Review

Monday, January 27, 2020

Today, we were given a unique opportunity to watch an interesting movie. It just so happened that it was one that we have never seen. We were actually in class to take character assessments. While we waited to asses one another, we were blessed to be able to watch a movie. A long grueling waiting process was slightly more comfortable due to the luxury of an amazing movie.

You could see the shock on faces and sense the anticipation in the atmosphere. These character assessments were something new to each one of us and gave us the opportunity to internalize. Checking ourselves and assessing others was much-needed all the way around. It is good to be able to correct your ways before they become crooked.  

Joseph R. (a.k.a. “Mr. Potato Head”)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Today was a day off for most, besides the fact that certain participants had to attend the computer lab to continue gaining skills in Microsoft Office. The truth is that there is never a day off in the life of a PEP brother. While our colleagues were in the computer lab touching up on their Microsoft Office skills, we were in the dorm studying and preparing.

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program involves constant preparation and studying in order to help us unlock our full potential. The Visionaries of Spring 20/20 have grown tremendously in the past few months. Today, we are excited that we have pursued excellence in every endeavor placed before us by PEP. We will continue to persevere and conquer every chance we get. 

Kenneth R. (a.k.a. “Dr. Pepper”)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

We woke up this morning and prepared to go to the PEP classroom and take a test. The atmosphere was filled with confident individuals who were indeed ready for the upcoming test. We are focused and confident, and could most definitely see it in one another: we stay ready, whatever the cost.

We received the test and had one hour to complete the exam, which was plenty of time. Within a few minutes, the class finished the test due to proper preparation on our behalf. Seeing how fast each test was turned in was so motivating, because it shows that the Visionaries of Spring 20/20 are putting forth their best efforts. We will continue to endure and execute with excellence.

After all of the exams were turned in, they were graded. Our Servant-Leaders graded the tests just as quick as we finished them. We have great Servant-Leaders. After all of the tests were graded, we came to find out that the majority of the class passed. Another great outcome for the Visionaries of Spring 20/20.

Roberto R. (a.k.a. “Cheerios”)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Think of it as a bird kicking the baby bird out of the nest. It may seem cruel at first; but at the end of the day, it is most definitely for a greater good. The mother bird does this because she knows that her babies are ready to fly. Kicking them out of the nest is the most guaranteed way to assure those babies that they can fly. PEP does the same thing to participants in order to get them out of their comfort zones. This is why each of us are destined for greatness as long as we trust the process.

Today we went through a similar situation when it comes to stepping outside of our comfort zones. We had to perform an unexpected assessment on the character of the participants that we live with. At first, none of us liked this because we could almost be sure our peers would not accept our constructive criticism. We understand that character assessments are a critical part of our development though, and as the old saying goes, “no pain, no gain.” Therefore, we accepted this as another valued step in training us for success through PEP.    

Gregory R. (a.k.a. “Cotton”)

Friday, January 31, 2020

Today we attended Living in the Village and reviewed Chapters 8-10. These chapters showed us how to maximize retirement plans, establish an emergency fund and establish an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Living in the Village is helpful because it teaches us how to be financially literate. Far too many people are ignorant of beneficial financial information, and we are blessed that a program like PEP instills these amazing habits in us. We plan to continue to give Living in the Village our all because we know that these skills will help us in the long run in every aspect of our lives.

The day progressed and we started our history class. We watched a short movie about the Revolutionary War. Political and philosophical differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. America’s 13 Colonies declared independence as the United States due to issues like taxation without representation that led to massive boycotts. The newly-formed United States prevailed, and the movie served to teach each of us a great deal about details in history that we weren’t entirely familiar with. You know what they say, “If you don’t learn from your history, you are doomed to repeat it.” We are greatly appreciative that PEP takes the time to teach us small things that make a big difference.  

George R. (a.k.a. “Fluffy”)


“Let us set our goals too high; let us demand more of ourselves

than we believe we possess.”

~ King Selassie I

We must start to treat each other with more compassion, more kindness and more love – and that includes how we treat ourselves, for we must first help the one in the mirror before we help those near us. In all ways, let your walk lead the way and your words catch up to you when you stop to enjoy the moment. Your dreams, ambitions and aspirations are waiting on you to take that leap of faith. All you have to do is believe. We are more than conquerors – we are visionaries and the next leaders of our communities; we are pillars that hold up under pressure, just like the strongest coliseums. We are who we believe we are.

Joseph M. (a.k.a. “Michael Blackson”)