Accountability

We believe that without accountability, neither our participants nor the executives with whom we work will be changed by the program. We will do everything in our power to help the participants succeed in life, but we provide only opportunities and tools; participants must want to change. Consequently, PEP only commits time and resources to those who demonstrate a desire to help themselves. PEP enforces a “no wiggle room” accountability program with participants.

PEP volunteers and employees will likewise be held to a high standard of accountability, being required to take ownership of their initiatives and follow through with their commitments.

Accountability is my favorite Driving Value because it was my weakest Driving Value. I had no idea the true meaning of accountability and how to apply it to my life. The program and many of the brothers including David F. have shown me how to be accountable to myself. In doing so, I have held myself to a standard I used to turn away from (taking responsibility for my actions). I thank all of my brothers who have been a testimony for me and helped me not only hold myself accountable but grow and transform into the man God has charged me to be. – Joey S

My favorite Driving Value is Accountability. Out of the 10 Driving Values that we have adopted into our lifestyle, I can honestly say that accountability is the one that intrigues me the most. By being able to take ownership of the actions of my past, this journey has revealed a lot. Accepting responsibility has catalyzed my self-discipline which has benefited me in a multitude of ways, including making sounds decisions, staying true to my values and following through with my word as my bond. I am becoming the man I desire to be, all the while staying focused and dedicated to succeeding in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. Accepting accountability has taught me a lot about myself, keeping me honest, responsible and aware of my actions. – Maurice M

Excellence

We are dedicated to pursuing excellence in every area, despite the difficulties which arise from setting high standards. We seek to work with and learn from the best of the best. We are dedicated to developing excellence in leadership throughout our organization—leadership of projects, ideas and the promotion of our 10 Driving Values. PEP is committed to working with people and organizations who share our values and mission.

Excellence is my favorite of PEP’s 10 Driving Values because it constantly reminds me that if I give anything less than my best that I’m ultimately robbing myself of the benefits of carrying out excellence. Committing to excellence is how I work toward my full potential. Sometimes it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. To have excellence is to execute everything full-heartedly. My grandfather used to always tell me, “If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right.” And that’s living with excellence. – Jacob L

Excellence is such an important Driving Value because it says so much about who you are at a character level. I have heard it said that “how you do anything is how you do everything.” Also if we hold ourselves to a higher standard, it will encourage others to do so as well. Remember, if you do not have time to do something right the first time, you definitely won’t have time to do it again. – Jacob S

Execution

We place an emphasis on execution—the ability to get things done. We expect to deliver outstanding and timely results. Big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into action. Self-discipline is a core element of our organization’s culture. We sweat the small stuff. We hire people with a strong track record of successful execution.

My favorite Driving Value is Execution for the reason stated profoundly in this quote: “A great idea is nothing more than an idea if there is no execution behind it.” Action is a requirement in the aspect of change. We are here in PEP to make the necessary changes in order to avoid repeating our past mistakes. – Joey B

I have learned a lot through PEP’s 10 Driving Values. The one that has stood out the most to me and that I focused on applying more than the others would be execution. My definition of execution is to come to reality and surrender all the things that are not good and overcome them. I have executed within myself over the past four years, fixing myself and mending bridges that I have torn down throughout my life. I have executed very hard to find myself so that when I get out, I can be that positive father to my kids and a positive man in my family and community. – Michael H

The Driving Value that I like the most is Execution. There is no reason we experience this level of education (for free) and not execute on what we’ve learned. If we fail to execute on everything that we have experienced and learned, then it was all in vain. I believe that execution should the last Driving Value, since it is after we execute all other nine values that we actually encounter success. – Scott S

Fresh Start Outlook

PEP believes that every inmate is a human being in need of a true second chance (which for many may actually be a legitimate first chance). We will treat every inmate with respect, regardless of background or personal history. We strive to equip human beings to achieve their full potential. We believe that people can change, dignity can be restored and, as a result, society will reap bountifully.

My favorite Driving Value is “Fresh Start” Outlook. Knowing that every end itself is another beginning, I can take each small lesson and apply it in a new and exciting way. Upon my arrival at the Estes Unit, I knew not to bring “Beto Swan,” as he served the best purpose for that situation. Now that the “Billy Madison” version of me has come to the forefront, I am confident that my fresh start outlook on life will carry me to a bright new future outside of these walls and over the mental walls of those already outside the prison! – Thomas S

My favorite driving value is “Fresh Start” Outlook because it talks about giving a true second chance. I get a second chance to be respected regardless of my background or my personal history. I get the chance to restore my dignity with my family and society. I also get a legitimate chance to be treated like a human being again. I get a fresh start to achieve my full potential, something that God gave to all of us. That is what fresh start outlook means to me. – Edward W

My favorite of the 10 Driving Values is “Fresh Start” Outlook because I would like a fresh start – not to start over in life but to pick up from where I took a wrong turn in life and to do everything in my power to make it right. I like the fresh start outlook because a lot of people do not get the chance to have another chance at life, since they are either dead or in jail for the rest of their lives. I am thankful for another chance and will do my best with it. – Reginald W

Fun

Work is an important part of life and it should be fun and rewarding. We seek to create a work environment that encourages laughter, imagination, fellowship and creativity. We regularly celebrate positive results and recognize those involved in the success.

The reason that I choose Fun as my Driving Value is because life is too short to not have fun. God has blessed us with another day, so I do my best to make the most of it. I have learned that educating myself – learning itself – can be fun. PEP has been a great experience. Through the trials and the tribulations, I have learned to count it all joy. – Jared B

Fun is an important Driving Value because going through life taking everything serious is going to be a boring and non-productive life. Growing up, I never really had fun due to growing up in the streets. I was always serious in everything I did. A lack of love in my life caused me to be hurtful and without fun. I realize now that I can put that shell down and to loosen up and have fun. I enjoy having a more relaxed spirit and being able to enjoy the things I love to do. People would rather be around others who are having fun and cutting up than to be around people that are too serious and uptight. So fun is very important to me, but it’s important to others as well. – Johnny S

Innovation

We embrace a pioneering spirit and are constantly in the pursuit of innovation and improvement in our efforts to help others. We expect dramatic change. We are committed to seeing beyond the current perception, and even the current reality, to break stereotypes and shape new futures.

Innovation is my favorite Driving Value because it’s a key value for any entrepreneur. To effectively manage and run your own business, you have to have the ability to be creative and resourceful. Some of the best businesses around the world are being run by people who are doing something they absolutely love doing and are using their talents and skills combined with determination and drive to make their ideas and dreams a reality. No matter what it is you are doing, you will always be faced with obstacles and challenges that will require you to be innovative to come up with a solution to the problems you face. The ability to create, problem-solve and adapt is at the heart of innovation. – Jacob A

My favorite Driving Value is Innovation. Whether thinking outside of the box, solving those unsolvable problems, brainstorming, or building what cannot be built, innovation speaks to me on many different levels. But innovation always leads to helping those around me – potentially those around the world – as well as myself. – Chris P

Integrity

We model and require complete honesty and integrity in all our relationships and endeavors. Integrity means more than simply the absence of deception; it means we are completely forthright in all our dealings. We say what needs to be said, not simply what people want to hear. We are truthful with ourselves, listening attentively to feedback from others as they speak into our lives, correct us and reveal to us our blind spots.

Integrity is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values:doing the right thing even when no one is looking.” Integrity means absolutely everything to me. It hurts when I am let down and I hurt when I let others down. Integrity is the glue that holds me together. If I know that what is inside me is solid, my actions and my words will let others know that they will not be disappointed. Stability is the key in leading a functional life, and integrity is the main ingredient. – Matthew N

Integrity is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values. Integrity is the highest form of keeping it real and respectful at all times with yourself and others. Integrity for me is doing the right thing when no one is looking, doing what you said you were going to do no matter the reward or consequence – in other words, sticking to what you promised, not making promises that you cannot keep. Integrity is honestly giving your best effort at every turn, corner and avenue no matter the criticism, hardship or condemnation that may come from choosing to do the right thing. Integrity is contrary to a lie. In a world full of lies and extreme falsehoods, integrity is what will set you apart from the others and distinguish you. I believe integrity is the foundation of all the other Driving Values. Integrity is what makes up the minerals of life. – DeJour T

Love

We are committed to service in love. PEP staff and leaders will be patient and kind, never envious or boastful or rude. We will not seek our own way nor be easily provoked; rather, we will bear all things and endure all things. We will rejoice in the truth and always seek out the best in others.

I choose the topic of love because it is the most important of PEP’s Driving Values. First of all, Scripture says God is love. Also God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. So I feel that there is nothing on earth more powerful than love. My grandparents were God-fearing people and they went far beyond to show love to each and every person they encountered. If it were not for the love they showed me, I do not think I would be here today, being the man that I am. I want to continue their legacy by showing love to others because everyone needs someone to love them. – Terry B

Love is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values. Not only does God love us, but He also gives us special gifts and talents to succeed and share with others so they too can succeed and carry out His will. You must use what God has blessed you with to do what is right in His eyes, multiplying these blessings for others. – Robert M

Love is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values but is something that I knew nothing about. But I have learned love through PEP, through the program and the 10 Driving Values. I have learned that perfect love casts out all fear. Love can even be holding someone accountable or pushing people to do their best. – Jason O

Servant-Leader Mentality

PEP believes that with leadership comes the overriding responsibility to be of service to others. We believe the contributions we make in the lives of others are far more important than our own accomplishments. We will lead by example with humility at the sacrifice of personal glory. PEP exists because of our desire to serve all those with whom we come in contact, especially our participants, executives, partners, donors, prison staff and the community at large.

My favorite Driving Value in PEP is Servant-Leader Mentality for the important reason that I believe a life of service to be Christ-like. The second thing is that even in the definition, the entire purpose in leading is to help, promote and assist others in their success. The truth in this special value is that it is intrinsic or internal. It is spiritual and will serve those who apply it correctly. – Michael S

Servant-Leader Mentality is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values. A Servant-Leader is someone who understands who they are and what they believe. They set high expectations and standards for themselves, while constantly looking for ways to grow personally. They look to build genuine relationships, seeking opportunities to serve others by motivating them to achieve higher levels of performance. A Servant-Leader realizes people are motivated by their dedication to them; to causes which are greater than themselves; by someone willing to surrender their own comfort to help others experience success. Servant-Leaders keep in mind that people are motivated by compassion for others, not because of who they are, or what they have, but because they truly matter.  – Walter S

Wise Stewardship

We are committed to the mentality of a steward: someone entrusted with another’s wealth or property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner’s best interest. We will apply donors’ funds as promised. We are committed to being a lean organization, and as a staff, we are also committed to modest salary and expense levels. We use funds intelligently, efficiently and strategically to achieve maximum benefit for those we serve.

We are committed to the mentality of a steward. I feel pleased when others succeed because I have learned that if I give, I get back many more times than what was given. Even though this is my favorite of the 10 Driving Values, it has been a painful process, as I have been very selfish. Not until recently have I been made painfully aware of the positive value that wise stewardship adds to the quality of life, especially as a leader, to achieve maximum benefit for those that we serve. – Brian E

My favorite Driving Value is Wise stewardship because I believe that all that we are given is a gift from God. If God believes us to be worthy to receive His gifts, we should treat His blessings with the respect, care and concern that is warranted. If we do not act as a wise stewards, we cannot expect these blessings to last long. We should strive to care for all that we are entrusted with so that we may pass it down to the next generation, whether it be morals, wisdom or tangible objects. – Mark K