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 means the most to me because in the past, I have often said one thing and done another. Being accountable to myself and others keeps me focused on the change I am working to make in my life. If I don’t have a way to hold myself accountable, it is easy to stray from the goals I have set for myself, and I will eventually fail. Too often in life, I have chosen to act in ways that are contrary to my own self-interests and have not held myself accountable. While in the military, this is one of the things that I admired because it shaped our character into that of a professional. That is why Accountability means so much to me. (Travis B)

Accountability is the Driving Value that stands out to me the most because when I first entered PEP, I thought holding someone accountable was considered snitching. Many of us who have been incarcerated a while believed minding your own business was the thing to do. PEP has changed the way that I now view things. When someone holds me accountable, I no longer consider it snitching, I look at it as a friend or a brother lifting me up on my negative behavior. Holding someone accountable shows concern of another’s actions. It is also a tool to keep you focused on how you act and respond to different situations. The accountability process has taught me how to be humble and receptive. (Leroy R)

I believe that accountability is very important, not only for yourself but for others as well. I believe that you should hold yourself accountable as well as hold others accountable. Being held accountable is not always a bad thing. It can also be a good thing. It will help build your character by being held accountable for when you make a mistake. That is how you are able to learn from your mistakes, if somebody holds you accountable for your actions. It will make you a better person. (Brandon W)

 

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.

I believe the Driving Value of Excellence stands out the most because it encompasses all the other Driving Values. If you are striving for excellence, you will excel in all areas of your life. I believe in doing my absolute best no matter what endeavor it is I am taking on. I always finish the things I start no matter how difficult they may be to complete. I personally seek to work with and learn from the best of the best because I know that this is the only way to truly improve – that, and you will conform to the individuals you spend the most time with. I am all about setting high standards, and I don’t believe anyone should be holding someone else to a standard of excellence that they are not holding themselves to. (Jacob A)

The Driving Value that stands out the most is Excellence. Excellence also goes hand in hand with Integrity, Execution and Accountability. Excellence is about having the integrity to be honest and do whatever the task may be correctly, to the best of ability, the first time. From my experience in life so far, I have found it very difficult to find people I can count on. People say one thing but do another. Most of the time, I am left feeling like if I want something done to my standards, then I have to do it myself. Nobody wants to hire a person who lacks in excellence, because people lacking excellence do things only halfway. (Joseph L)

The Driving Value that stands out the most to me is Excellence. Since I joined PEP, I have focused on this Driving Value because by learning and studying to become more educated, I have been able to gain more knowledge. Excellence has become highly important because with excellence, I will be able to achieve and overcome many obstacles. Excellence will help me become successful in life and help others as well. (Luis V)

 

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.

The Driving Value that stands out to me is Execution because it helps me stay disciplined in whatever I do and handle every situation I am in the best way: by being open-minded and responsible for everything I do and the way I carry myself wherever I am. I try to show others the way I get things done so they can do the same by being consistent with their actions every day, no matter what. (Derrick J)

I believe Execution is the greatest Driving Value because without it, nothing gets done. Take this PEP Driving Value homework for example – I am executing it right now. In other words, Execution is action. Action will take you far in life. You can sit around and dream about and think about stuff, but you must take action by taking the first step. Only through execution can you make your dreams come true. (Colbin W)

To put your mind to something and follow through with it. To be able to finish what you start, not waiting or procrastinating. Doing what needs to be done and not worried what other people think. This Driving Value of Execution stands out to me because this is the way I live my life; I do my best to get things done. To go far in life, you have to be on the ball. If I am going to open different types of businesses, then not executing will leave me nowhere. So I always put my best foot forward to move far in life. (Donald B)

 

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.

“Fresh Start” Outlook is important because we need to put prison behind us and look toward what lies beyond these walls. When we do this, we remember that society operates on different standards. Remembering within prison that we will return to society helps us get ready and prepare for that eventual transition. Watching how we speak and act will improve our chances of success upon release. There are different ways of interacting and behaving in society, and we must be able to successfully navigate those interactions when they arise. (Miguel M)

Having a “Fresh Start” Outlook means that we all need a second chance in life, and that we are not perfect because everyone makes mistakes. We can correct our mistakes and stop doing them over and over again. I am a person that does not need to be told many times. I would like to be respected like others and given another chance once I get out. I want the chance to start all over and begin with a positive attitude toward others and myself. Thank you. (Martin L)

PEP is an amazing organization founded on exceptional core values. It is tremendously hard to pick the one value that stands out the most to me. But, since I have to choose one, I will say “Fresh Start” Outlook because I believe that this value is the complete embodiment and result of having possession of all 10 Driving Values. PEP is all about second chances. Having a “fresh start” outlook is how we turn our gaze away from the past and refocus on the future ahead. In PEP, “we believe people can change, dignity can be restored and, as a result, society will reap bountifully.” (Cavin L)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most is “Fresh Start” Outlook. I have spoken with many people who have really had no idea what they wanted to do in life, who by being here away from the everyday stresses and hustle and bustle of everyday life have found some hidden skill or talent. Now as a result, they are going to be better off because they came here, not worse off or hamstrung because of having a felony record. I know and relate to this because it happened to me and now I have a business and am vice chair on the board of directors of a charity that I take great pride in and value. Back 10 years ago, I had no direction in life and have been forced to take a different, higher path. I constantly excel to overcome a felony, but I know with a “Fresh Start” Outlook, my determination will help me succeed. (Sam S)

If I had to pick only one of our 10 Driving Values that stands out to me the most, I believe it would have to be “Fresh Start” Outlook because I feel like I have made some mistakes in the past. I do not believe those mistakes defined me. I have also done a lot of great things in my past, and I believe I will do a lot of great things in my future as well. So when I am released, I will have a “Fresh Start” Outlook and become someone my family can be proud of. (Arnoldo M)

“Fresh Start” Outlook is the value that stands out the most to me because I believe a lot of people either don’t understand it or don’t know where to start. PEP has given a clear definition on what a fresh start outlook really means. It starts with people not thinking of themselves in the negative, like a failure, but to understand that there is a second chance. This is the first step to creating a plan for a new beginning. The sun sets, but it always rises too. “Fresh Start” Outlook also helps us to notice where our shortcomings are and to turn adversities into opportunities. (Oscar M)

Coming into the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, one of the first assignments was to not only learn the 10 Driving Values, but to memorize a sentence from each value. One that has stuck with me from the get-go is “Fresh Start” Outlook because without changing our outlook on how we live life and deal with issues that arise, we are doomed to repeat the past. I for one have developed a lot of bad habits over the years, and that is what ultimately led me to prison. Not only once, but two times. Along with the stigma of being a convicted felon, I am looking for that second chance to prove not only to myself but also to my family that people can change, and that I am capable of so much more. (Julian M)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most is “Fresh Start” Outlook. In my opinion, that is what this program strives to enforce the most. It encourages us to leave our old ways in the past and helps us become better men, not only for ourselves but for our families. I believe we all need to have a fresh start outlook. Staying stuck in our old ways has only caused us to fail. We all need a fresh start, and this program really helps us reach our full potential and helps do things the right way. (Juan Q)

 

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.

I believe that the Driving Value “Fun” is extremely important and stands out to me more so than the others. This program is a prison rehabilitation program that is preparing and teach us about ourselves, business and how to conduct ourselves in a business-oriented environment. This is still prison, and I believe that a lot of the material and Driving Values would not be learned and accepted if we did not break down some of these walls and stigmas that were placed upon us by prison. We break the walls down by having fun, by dancing and enjoying the company of our brothers. It is the path towards change. (Ronnie C)

When I was growing up, we didn’t have all of these different video games that kids play now. In my opinion, video games are not a good thing. We used to play outside, and I always had my sisters and cousins to play with. The only time we came inside was for lunch time and when it got dark, and even then it was hard to get us to come in. We would play games like hide and seek; red light, green light; and British bulldog. Even after we went inside, we would still play games like goldfish, gin rummy and all kinds of other card and board games. I love the way I grew up and wouldn’t change it for the world. That is why Fun is the most important Driving Value to me. (Patrick N)

 

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.

Let me begin by saying that I can easily relate to each of the 10 Driving Values. All of us can, whether they be strengths or weaknesses. However, I am going to choose Innovation. For as long as I can remember, I have had a knack for creating new things, or perhaps improving things that have already been created. I will use the time that I have been incarcerated as an example. Because of the lack of resources that we have, it is even more important to think outside of the box: using colored pencils for customized greeting cards; water color paints for painting pictures; or perhaps my favorite, creating spiders using toilet paper. Most will chuckle when I say toilet paper, but that is the beauty of it – people are mesmerized by the end result. Everyone jumps when they first see them. I have been doing this now for three years, and I enjoy making each one. Whenever I have chosen to create something, it has always been to the best of my ability in hopes that it will elicit a positive reaction. There is not a price that you can place on happiness, and after all, that is my ultimate goal. If I cannot make a million dollars, a million smiles will work just the same. (Frank V)

Innovation and creativity for me go hand in hand. I have struggled with my ability to be creative and worry that I am not going to be a very fun dad. Learning how to be innovative and being able to improve something that already exists has been very rewarding. The more that I can practice innovation while in PEP, the more confident I become as a father. Innovation is the key to my success in all aspects of my future. (Justin H)

 

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.

I would have to say that Integrity stands out to me the most. Honesty and integrity in all our relationships with family, friends and loved ones will show how we react to circumstances in life. It goes a long way with me because it has shown me my blind spots. I was ignorant and just cared mostly for myself. Integrity has made me more attentive to those around me whom I associate with and how I say and do things. It carries accountability (a lot of us don’t like to be told the truth when we are wrong); it makes us selfless; it helps me say what needs to be said, not simply what people want to hear; and it changes me daily and continues to make a difference in my life. (Ever A)

The Driving Value that stands out the most to me is Integrity. For those who don’t know, integrity is the act of honesty. It is the ability to say what needs to be said. To be able to say the truth when it is needed is what draws the real men out of the childish shell that some men stay in. As men, we must face life in its truth and carry the integrity to stay true to what really matters instead of living in a made-up world full of lies. (Enrique D)

Integrity is the Driving Value that stands out to me the most. I think that it is the foundation of what PEP is supposed to stand for. It is also the force which is to be used to mold the character of a man. This is the quality of structure that we must adhere to in order to be successful and productive in life. So even though situations arise that try to hinder one’s integrity, it is the pureness and wholeness of this Driving Value that we will hold fast within ourselves. (Manuel D)

Integrity is the Driving Value that stands out the most. It is the foundation for all of the other values. I was raised by two men of great integrity, my father and my grandfather. I do not believe I ever saw anyone doubt either of them. Their word was as strong as oak. If they said it, they did it. It was as simple as that. They paid what they owed when they owed it at all costs and always did what they felt was right. I am also a man of integrity. Sadly at times, it pales to theirs. But I have and will continue to make it better with hard work and dedication. (John F)

When looking over the 10 Driving Values and determining which value stands out the most, I would have to say Integrity. When I interpret and evaluate the word integrity, I believe it would have to be the best. Integrity was taught to me as doing the right thing when no one is watching. And to be able to do that means you’re holding yourself accountable, showing love, implementing wise stewardship and having fun when it’s appropriate. If you choose integrity, it creates the basic foundation for all other Driving Values, if you act on it. (Corey G)

I stand on the Driving Value of Integrity the most. The reason is I have always been the type of person who is upright and forthright in all my dealings. I say what needs to be said, and I don’t sugarcoat anything. I can come to terms with the bottom line and will express the worst that could happen so people around me can come to grips with it also. And I accept all feedback, whether it is positive or negative. (Carlos H)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most is Integrity. It means a great deal to me, my loved ones and the people who I work for when they know I am forthright and honest – when I can be counted on to give an answer that is not lip service, but truth seasoned with love and tact. More importantly, because more stock is placed on action than words, integrity means that I can be trusted. People know that they can count on me. With this in mind, my loved ones know that I have their best interest in mind. I am going to speak the truth in love, stand behind what I have said and always do the right thing. (Glenn D)

Integrity is the most important of the 10 Driving Values because without integrity, you cannot have accountability; you cannot be a servant leader; you cannot have a fresh-start outlook; you definitely cannot show love for you PEP brothers, which is another important and favorite of the 10 Driving Values. In conclusion, without integrity, a real man cannot walk down the streets of Bakersfield with his head held high. That is why integrity means so much to me. (Byron F)

Integrity stands out the most to me. Integrity is doing what is right even when no one is looking. Integrity is standing up to someone and having the courage to say what needs to be said regardless of how one may feel. Integrity is speaking the truth and straying from all forms of lies. PEP thrives on integrity. Sometimes it is not exercised when it is supposed to be, but all in all, integrity stands out the most to me as a Driving Value. (Tyrell J)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most would be Integrity. I strongly believe that integrity is the backbone, the “bread and butter” and the glue that holds all the other nine Driving Values together. Even more, having integrity is what allows each of the other Driving Values to be properly carried out and performed at their absolute best. Yes, all of the Driving Values are equally important to me. At the same time, Integrity is the core. It is essential for us to all lead with integrity in all that we do and all that we are. (Tyler L)

I would have to say that Integrity is my top Driving Value because it is the cornerstone and very foundation of change. If you cannot be honest with yourself and others, then you are not ready for change. Without integrity, the other nine Driving Values will not work. Accountability goes with this value because if you are not honest with yourself or others, then you cannot accurately use the Driving Values. I know once I learned Integrity, I was a better person all around. (Brian M)

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines integrity as “adherence to a code of values” or “incorruptibility.” To me, integrity is standing by your word, which unfortunately was something I used to struggle with. But now I am absolutely determined to have integrity, and I show it by standing by my word and following through with what I say I will do. When you have integrity, trust and reliability follow. Integrity is not only important in business but is needed in every aspect of life. (Timothy M)
Integrity is what stands out the most to me because without it, you are worthless. It takes integrity to be honest with anyone. With integrity, you can do a lot of good things for people. Integrity gives you the power to change what is bad and start living right and well. With integrity, you are truthful with yourself and want better for everyone, including yourself. Integrity helps you in all your relationships and makes you a better person. (Michael M)

I would define Integrity as structural fortitude, as in the strength of something built. And in its essence, isn’t that what a person is, what character is – something that is built? So for me, the most important Driving Value is Integrity because it is the foundation on which responsibility, accountability, honesty, diligence, morality and so many other great and defining characteristics are built. Integrity means not only being honest and true to others, but most of all to yourself. After all, if I define integrity as structural fortitude or the strength of something built, then integrity is inherently something within that supports and is also strong and sound. (Kyle P)

Integrity means the most to me out of the 10 Driving Values. You must be honest with yourself as a person in order to discover the person that you really are. Integrity shows you any fakeness within yourself. Without integrity, most employers will not hire you. The best thing in life is to be humble, and then you will live a happy and honest life – and trustworthy too. (Jose R)

I believe that the Driving Value of Integrity stands out to me the most. By that, I mean that you are being genuine and not putting on a front or faking anything. It makes you into the type of person that can be trusted. Being able to say what needs to be said, no what people want to hear, makes you a reliable source. It means that you are true to yourself and that a lie does not abide in you. This opens the door for others to come to you to inquire of you when they want to know the real deal. Integrity allows you to stand firm on your morals and values and be able to stand apart from others. (Charles W)

I like all of the 10 Driving Values, but if I had to pick out which on stands out the most to me. I would have to say “Integrity.” Integrity means a lot to me and is also one of the main characteristics that I look for in a person. I live with integrity because it is honesty and what I want from a person. It is a standard of right and wrong. If you have integrity, you feel good about yourself and you also care about others. It is just a way of life, and it is something that would make the world a better place if everybody had it. (Corey W)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most is Integrity. Although every one of the values is beneficial, integrity is something I lacked in the past and up until PEP never truly addressed. I realize that in order to be successful in all areas of life, I have to have integrity – it will also guarantee my business dealings are completely honest. There will be no ulterior motives, and I will be transparent in my establishment. I will lead with integrity. (Martin Z)

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 think the Driving Value of Love stands out the most to me because it is the key that makes the other nine values possible. Love is the main ingredient in all the Driving Values, and this aligns with the Bible. Scripture teaches in 1 Corinthians 13 that without love, a person is nothing but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He sent His son. This shows love enables us to imitate the love of God to others. This is why out of all the Driving Values, love is the greatest of them all. (Jesus G)

The Driving Value that stands out the most to me would be Love because we are incarcerated and are being introduced to Love by PEP in a positive way. Before PEP, there was no such thing as love in prison, unless it came in the mail from your significant other or family members, or it came via phone calls, jPays or money – in other words, emotional, spiritual and financial support from your loved ones. So for your PEP family to introduce you to their type of love, it’s a new but positive culture to experience. (Raymond F)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most is definitely love. I feel like love is the glue that binds all the Driving Values together and that without it, we are just “a sounding brass, a clanging symbol.” Love is the beginning and the end, the truth and the light. It is the greatest gift that God has given us to fight the evil in the world. Love is the passionate search for all truth other than our own. Love is my refuge and my home. (Grant H)

As a young child growing up, I was loved very much by my family and friends. Then once I got older, I started to drift away from love until one day I had totally forgotten what love felt like. And for a very long time, I went around looking at people crazy because they still had love in their life and knew what it felt like to have that love only a family has for you, knowing that they care about you and only want the best for you. PEP showed me that people out in the world still care and that sometimes we have to start loving ourselves before anybody else can. (Anthony F)

To me, the Driving Value of Love stands out the most because without the basis of love, all other Driving Values fall short – even mechanical in practice, if you will. Execution without love is most certainly mechanical and lacks its full purpose without love. Even being a Servant-Leader would seem blind without the basis of love. It even says in the Bible in 1 Corinthians that when all else fades, love is all that remains. (Alexander J)

Out of all of the 10 Driving Values, one particular value stands out to me: Love. The reason I say this is that if you do something out of love, whether it be holding someone accountable or even being a Servant-Leader, you really cannot go wrong. Love is the stem of everything positive, and people who do things out of love are always 100% genuine. If all the Driving Values are done in love, then you are on the right path. (Ashton L)

Love stands out to me the most out of all the 10 Driving Values. There are two great commandments: love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; and love your neighbor as you love yourself. If we loved others as we love ourselves, all the commandments would be followed. I believe love is the greatest thing in the universe. Love is patient and kind; love keeps no record of wrongs; it is not jealous or proud; love rejoices in truth; but most of all, love never fails. At PEP, we are loved enough for people to believe the best in us. So I believe with love, we will never fail. (Joseph M)

Love is what stands out to me the most because you cannot do any good without some type of love. The first thing is to have love for yourself, then you can love others. I can say that I truly love each and every one of my PEP brothers: “We are committed to service in love.” Love is patient and kind, and does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude, nor rejoices in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things and believes in all things. It endures all things and love never ends. Now let faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these three is love. [1 Corinthians 13:4-13] God bless you all. (Bryant M)

I think Love is the Driving Value that stands out the most to me. Let me say that it is only when you first love yourself that you can then love others. It takes a humble person to be patient with others; to be genuine with others but not self-seeking; to help and not hurt. Anything that is built off of this Driving Value will only grow stronger as a result. The love that binds us as brothers shines for others to see. It is by God’s grace and mercy we have this value not only in our hearts, but also in our community of brothers. Thank you for showing me this Driving Value. (Lewis N)

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program has 10 Driving Values, and Love is the one that stands out the most to me. Love is an important part of the world. Showing it and receiving it has been suggested since the beginning of time. Everyone should always show love and God demands it. It makes the program work by staff, executives and participants showing love to each other. I am glad I joined PEP and I love it. (Leo P)

The Driving Value that stands out to me the most is love. Love is a word with many different meanings. In PEP, love means we are committed to service in love. There are other meanings – that is just one of them. Love is a very powerful word. You can show love to someone by helping them with whatever they may need if you are able. Love is also someone who will sit there and let you vent to them. Love is something that you have to build up. You cannot expect for someone to open up to someone he does not know. Love is also giving someone advice on how to do the right thing and not mess up and explain the reasons why that is a not the smart or best thing to do. Love is a word that you tell someone to show them that you have a lot of feelings for them. That is what love means to me, and that is why it sticks out to me the most. (Albert R)

If I had to pick one of the 10 Driving Values that means the most to me, it would be love. I feel like without love, none of the other Driving Values are possible. You also have to love yourself so that you can love others in ways that will help them better themselves. Once you begin to love, first yourself then others, all the other Driving Values will come easily when they are done out of love. (Jory R)

I pick Love as my Driving Value that stands out the most because without it, we would all be corrupt, hateful and negative toward one another. I like love because we come together as human beings and show love to all, even though we are not the same and we live and do things for different reasons. Love is an important thing in life. and the world is a better place because we show love to everyone. That is why we keep spreading love to family, friends and the whole world. (Charles S)

Love is the Driving Value that stands out to me. Love is an action word. I feel I can say I love someone or something, or simply even myself. However, if I don’t put forth some action into whatever it is that I say I love, it doesn’t mean anything. Before I made it to PEP, I was angry with myself, showing no signs of growth or change – like using foul language, drugs and alcohol, even distancing myself from others. Being here has torn down barriers of hate and anger and has allowed me to open up to brothers and people who actually care. I know that the more growth I have developed has come from learning to love, both myself and others. (Terrance S)

Love is the one which stands out to me the most. When one abides in the love of Christ, all the other values will fall into place. Love is a currency which pays compound interest and never loses its value. Whatever a person loves, he will always give it his time, effort and money. When we check our motives by the love chapter and base it on the principles in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, we can be assured that love will never fails. Love is never selfish, does not demand its own way, is never irritable and keeps no record of being wrong. (Walter S)

Love is the Driving Value that stands out the most to me. I think it is the most important value because at the core of everything in your life should be love. You should start everything you do, say, think and believe with love. If you live with love in every aspect of your life, you will be happy and successful at everything you do. Love is the essence of life itself and should be the most important value. (Christopher S)

Love is the Driving Value that stands out to me the most. Love goes beyond more than what the word says. In Greek, the word “agape” is the kind of love that God shows each and every one of us every single day since the creation of mankind. I implement love every day in my life. Some days are harder than others. I know that I have to love each one of my brothers and sisters no matter what. In this environment, it has been a challenge, but it has opened my eyes and heart about those whom I have judged in the past. I want to love those who need and those that claim to need. This is why love stands out to me more than any other Driving Value. (Jose T) 

 

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.

The Driving Value of Servant-Leader Mentality stands out most to me. The main point of this value is the servitude it requires toward others. To achieve this, you must have genuine humility. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Jesus Christ came to serve others, not to be served. I strive to practice meekness so I can let my words and actions help paint my neighbor’s picture of God. There is no better example of a servant-leader than Christ himself. The Bible tells us, “Love thy neighbor” – but nowhere does it say “love thy self” because WE ARE MEANT TO SERVE. I leave you with this quote: “You can have everything you want, if you help enough other people get what they want. The key to our success is putting others first.” (Corey P)

Servant-Leader Mentality was definitely the Driving Value that stood out to me the most and had the most profound impact on me. Since I began PEP, it has never ceased to amaze me how all of the volunteers and executives take time out of their days and out of their lives to come up here and pour so much love and support into us. I also can’t help but realize that when I was out there living the “fast life,” the decisions I was making were affecting the lives of these people and their families. And here they are serving me. Wow. That perspective has enabled me to make changes that I never thought possible. (James D)

Servant-Leader Mentality stands out the most to me because I believe it instills the responsibility that we have to each other: ministering our principles and core values in love; offering our time and service to assist in the betterment of our neighbors; and leading by example in an honorable way. It is all about humbly contributing wisdom from personal experience without personal glory while living by a higher standard, helping to improve the quality of life for ourselves and our communities. (Khalid C)

The reason I chose Servant-Leader Mentality is because I enjoy helping other people. I believe people get consumed in their own lives and forget about others. We all go through our own trials and tribulations and worry about our own, but almost never do people take the time to look left or right to see the person next to them that may have it worse than we do. That is why I am committed to helping others, even if it is a small conversation or giving a helping hand. Making someone else’s day makes my day, which makes this world a better place. (Simon M)

The Driving Value which stands out to me the most would be Servant-Leader Mentality. The reason why is because I believe the contributions I make in the lives of others are far more important than my own accomplishments. I believe this because at home I have a family to lead and children who adore me, and whatever I contribute into their lives is far more important than what I will accomplish for myself. I want to guide and direct them on their path to success. And with practicing this Driving Value and heeding what it says, it instills the other nine Driving Values and thus reaches beyond the boundaries of my family into society and the lives of others. (Cory E)

No one particular Driving Value stands alone, and there aren’t very many people who are perfectly balanced. We are continually faced with the necessity to grow and change. The 10 Driving Values each rely on the others to hold them up and create checks and balances to make certain those that adhere to them are held to the highest standard. Since I am pressed to pick one, I will highlight Servant-Leader Mentality. In order to truly foster the success of those around you, one must exhibit a willingness to put his own needs aside, make himself available to another in order to truly serve, while at the same time lead them to success. Being a successful Servant Leader requires approaching others with as balanced a viewpoint as is possible while also recognizing that there is room to grow. (Clifford W)

Servant-Leader Mentality stands out to me the most because all of the people I look up to, whether fiction or nonfiction, are Servant-Leaders. My entire life I have aspired to be a Servant-Leader, putting others ahead of myself, never wanting to lead but wanting to serve. Because of that mentality, I have always been put in positions of leadership. There is a reason why people are told “you have to learn to serve before you can lead.” My Savior Jesus Christ was a servant who was sent to us to guide, teach and die for us. He put our sins in his hand and destroyed its hold over us. So I believe a person who has a Servant-Leader mentality can be anyone – and usually is. The best servant never complains, does what must be done for the betterment of those who are near and always puts loved ones first. (Jose S)

Servant-Leader Mentality is one of our 10 Driving Values in PEP, and it is the one that means the most to me. To be a Servant-Leader was an entirely new concept to me. I have been a leader multiple times throughout my life, but the concept of serving in order to lead – that is something PEP has taught me, and it has turned me into a better man and brought my leadership skills to an entirely new level. It has opened so many new doors for me. (Craig S)

As a child growing up, I saw a lot of the 10 Driving Values in people; I just did not know the names of them. But I always notice people who lack a Servant-Leader Mentality. Some people lack the others, but when I saw people with Servant-Leader mentality who were well balanced in their lives, all the other Driving Values fell into place. That is why Servant-Leader Mentality stands out to me the most: because Servant-Leaders lead by example. (Mario S)

Servant-Leader Mentality stands out to me the most because in order to be an effective leader, you have to be humble and selfless. While trying to develop this Driving Value, I realized that I have not been either one of those things. That made me realize that by serving my own selfish desires, I neutralize the kind of leader that I can be to my family, friends and community. So I have to step down so that I can step up. (Jacob 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.

Wise Stewardship to me stands out the most because of what it means to an organization. It is the trust that comes with being responsible as a steward to yourself or the having responsibility for another’s wealth or property. Not only that, it also means we must be intelligent in everyday life with what we have. I believe that true wise stewardship happens when we commit and are dedicated to those whom we serve. In God we trust. Amen. (Michael G)

Wise Stewardship is extremely important, as it is a driving factor for giving back. As a peer-driven program, each of us has a duty to help our PEP brothers out, to give a helping hand like we were so freely given. This helping hand continues with us on our journey to becoming free men. It is our duty to help and invigorate the communities we live in, striving to leave our portion of the world a better place than it was before us. Wise Stewardship is PEP. (Jeffery T)