Monday, July 1, 2019

Today in PEP, we watched American history videos about how the race riots of the 1900’s started in Chicago, and how the prohibition act really affected the economy of America. We also saw two brothers give a PowerPoint slideshow on Integrity Selling over Chapters Five and Six, and another two brothers gave a slideshow over Chapters Seven and Eight. We enjoyed learning everyone’s different role in selling. In addition to all that, we saw how three brothers struck oil right outside Houston in Beaumont, Texas and took a test on the 10 Driving Values. We also sang happy birthday to two fellow brothers.

We are only about four weeks away from graduating PEP. On that day, we will be eating fried chicken and so much more great stuff.  But the truth is that we will be done with what has seemed like a mountain climb. David shared from his retreat with his church, but mostly we were all focused on graduating PEP and getting to the end of what we started back in November. At this point, we have learned so much that will benefit us in the free world. Our class has really gotten smaller from people going home on parole and some dropping out. The ones who are left are the soldiers who really understand what PEP is offering us. We have jumped over the hurdles and obstacles that have come our way. It’s personal. That was our day in PEP.

 Chad W. (a.k.a. “Sweet Bumble Bee”)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

We started off today discussing Robert Lewis and leading the men in Phase One with our Servant-Leader mentality. As we went through the Authentic Manhood video, we talked about how there’s nothing more important than making sure we develop a positive character for our family and friends, but most importantly ourselves. It all starts with evaluating our lives and figuring out our destiny. With the passion and love we have for change, integrity will not only lead the way but also put the right people in our lives to stay focused. The passion my PEP brothers have for change makes every day a journey to a new beginning as we live up to the 10 Driving Values and implement them in our everyday lives.

Part of our Driving Value of Execution states: “We expect to deliver outstanding and timely results.” This means that every day, there has to be something we are looking forward to accomplishing. This program has done so much for us in just a short time, and we can only imagine what the future holds. That’s the most important part of reality: being able to actually use our tools we’ve worked so hard to get in our everyday lives. In all, what we really stood out to me was the importance of being spiritually balanced and having God in our lives. Without Him, nothing great is possible.

Christopher W. (a.k.a. “Sweet-N-Low”)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Today we started off by praying in. Saying a prayer is the first and last thing we do at the beginning and end of each class. We had a participant read the word of the day, which is to encourage for the day. After our class emcee introduced himself and welcomed us to class, we were asked to face the library. We face the library every time we take a test. We were tested today over our entrepreneurship textbook’s Chapter 14, which was the last test out of the book. We also took tests over Microsoft Excel, hot keys and the Associated Press Stylebook.

Once we were done testing, a couple of graduates gave us a presentation over our new assignments. One assignment was the leadership statement, where we must write three paragraphs about our business, skills, and education. This statement will be read at our Business Plan Competition event before we are called up to do our pitches, so this needs to be taken seriously. The next assignment is a 75-100 word essay on the Driving Value that stands out the most to us and why. The final assignment is a poem about change. The graduates also explained that we will be having two executives coming on July 17 to teach us on Integrity Selling, which is a textbook that is part of the curriculum.

After the presentation we had what we like to call “issues and tissues.” That is where we can dispute answers that were marked wrong on our Chapter 14 test. We do this every week (only for our entrepreneurship tests) because the test is mostly fill in the blank, and if the answer was marked wrong but you can prove it was right with hard evidence from the book or study guide, you will get credit for that answer. The last and final thing we did before we prayed out for the day was watch an American History video, which is another part of our curriculum. Today was a good day.

Reco W. (a.k.a. “Twinkie”)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Fourth of July!!! With today being Independence Day, we were able to relax in our dorm. The day seemed to have a slower start than usual, as most of us slept in. But as the dayroom came alive with activity, the question most of us seemed to asking was what movies we might see. We are fortunate to be on a unit that allows us to watch recently released movies on DVD on certain holidays. For some of our new PEP brothers, this was hard to believe, but once Solo: A Star Wars Story began, everyone was plugging in to earphone jacks for the show. At intermission, or chow as it is commonly referred to, we had BBQ burger, hot dogs, BBQ beans, corn on the cob and to top it all off, a delicious slice of cheesecake. All the trimmings and condiments were spread, and then it was back to the dayroom to watch Aquaman. The final movie in the lineup was Avengers: Infinity War.

As the day progressed, things in the dorm began to take on a normal feeling as we had various homework activities to get done for the coming week. Those of us new to PEP were seen in study groups preparing for upcoming tests. One of our 10 Driving Values is fun, so naturally we needed to get a break is from our studies. The chess board was available – the challenge was issued and accepted! As the night wore on, and brains had soaked up some much-needed knowledge, and the final meal of the night was cleaned up, the dayroom slowly emptied. All that was left was for us to retire to our cells and get in our mighty prayers, write letters home to loved ones and join with our cellmates. With today being one of busiest days on the roads, we hope all our families made it to their destinations safely! Our love is with you!

Russell W. (a.k.a. “Car Wreck Cowboy”)


“The pursuit of passion makes you rich, if you plan well and are able to find it.”

~ Unknown

My grandmother said that if you don’t use your head, you will have to use your feet. This stumped me for a while, I must admit. But she was right. You don’t start planning for the future by your spinning your wheels, and idle time is the devil’s workshop. I have given away too much of my life to think about. I have come up on a patch of ground where things can go one way or the other, so I have chosen to go down the path that leads me to become successful. I am not trying to prove anything to anybody, and sometimes I wonder if I can make it. That’s not what my higher power guides me to do. No, he guides me to become the best I can be and not worry about what others think. My passion has always been to become successful, and with success comes the riches that I have earned. I have and will stick with it.

Being a participant in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program has given me a unique opportunity to find my true north and head for the success that I have my sights set on. I have many plans for companies that I am going to start – I just have to stay focused on the here and now and tackle each goal as it comes, completing it to the best of my ability. If I stick with it, I will find what I am looking for.

Jeffery W. (a.k.a. “Fruit Loops”)