Week in Review

Monday, July 27, 2020

PEP is, perhaps, going through the biggest trial of its existence. This epidemic has created challenges that are seemingly insurmountable and make it ever more important to live by the 10 Driving Values. Examples include those who are still growing in their journeys from convict to an authentic man, or from prisoner to someone who is truly free.

When I look around, I see that we are a bit lost and in need of direction. Many of us are not ready to walk on a new path without someone holding our hand to guide us. There are those of us who are ready, but those of us who are not (or not willing to follow those who are).

All we can do is continue our journey, and lead by example as much as possible. It is said that nothing in life that is worth the effort is ever easy. This is probably never truer than now.  Our brothers’ will to win and our drive to succeed is being tested – still, we will get through this. Those of us who have the strength, the desire and the will to persevere will come out the other side of this stronger and better than they have ever been.

Let us hope that we have the integrity to stay true to our choice to be better men. Let us hope that we have the servant-leader mentality to lead by example and put our needs aside to help others. May we all show innovation and come up with new and relevant ways to work through these difficulties. May we continue to be wise stewards of the program that we represent. May we continue to execute with excellence, holding ourselves accountable in love, while maintaining our fresh start outlook and remembering to have fun throughout.

Clifford W. (a.k.a. “Cheddar Bob”)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

During this difficult period in time, PEP means everything love is about. We all love one another, and this is the time when we must be able to put all of our differences aside and come together. We as PEP brothers are family. Family is there for you when you need them the most. Even though the program has slowed down a bit, we still conduct ourselves as if things haven’t changed.

This is the first time any of us has been through anything like this. This is a time where we really don’t know what the next man is thinking, so it is important for all of us to treat one another like you want to be treated. This is a time that we can get to know each other on a personal level. None of us knows exactly how long any of this is going to last. PEP has shown us how to be more open to people. PEP means that we are not alone and that we have brothers who are genuinely there for us, ready to help with anything. PEP hasn’t given up on any of us. It has made us stronger.

All of the 10 Driving Values have become an everyday thing. Integrity and accountability are like the glue that keeps all connected. We will make it through these difficult times because PEP is all about overcoming. Our drive to overcome is what keeps us going. We all believe that there are brighter days ahead of us, so we encourage one another to stay strong and keep the faith.

Corey W. (a.k.a. “Donkey from Shrek”)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

During this difficult time here at the Estes Unit, we have all been staying strong. We are all still pushing forward to be successful, not only in life but here in PEP as well. We know that we are not getting the same experience that all of the other classes have gone through. However, we are standing strong and ready to move forward and get past this difficult period in our lives. We have some great support here in the PEP program, including PEP’s In-Prison Management, all of our Peer Educators, mentors, pod coaches and all of the accountability leaders who are always there to talk to if we need them. Everybody has been helpful in getting us through this time.

So far we have finished our Toastmasters speeches in our dorms, and we have also been busy working on our business pitches. We still continue to have our pod meetings and enjoy game nights to break the monotony of prison life. We play domino tournaments, water pong tournaments, “sock in a bucket” and shuffleboard. It is nice to have game night to help to relieve stress. We have been doing plenty to stay busy during this crisis, and PEP has been a blessing for us.

PEP has helped us in many ways. We have learned a lot of things and believe that this program is important to our future. We know that it will be helpful in our success. We want to thank PEP staff and the executives who put forth the effort during this tough time. We know that it is not easy out there, and we want to give a shout out to you all and especially our families, who have been a great support to us.

Brandon W. (a.k.a. “Baby Pterodactyl”)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

During this difficult time, we have faced unforeseen challenges. But despite these obstacles, as a whole we have been able to succeed in our endeavors. Many of us have lost loved ones and had our future plans change as a result. Yet even in the face of these difficulties, we have banded together as a brotherhood of men, united in the common cause of creating a brighter future for ourselves as well as our families. We have learned that every day, there will be things that arise in our lives we have no control over and must learn to adapt to changing circumstances. Our camaraderie and mutual support has improved our character and reminded us that there is always a chance to become better.

Our business plans are finished, and we have learned to see things through until the end. We have found new ways of doing business and ways to provide a future that are far removed from the actions that led us to this place. We work together to improve our plans and make a positive impact on society, regardless of how we may be thought of by that society. This program has taught us discipline and perseverance, as well as how to research and plan effectively for any challenge in our future. We believe there is nothing we cannot do if we put the right effort into it. What we have learned will go a long way toward creating a substantial income and productive lifestyle wherever we end up.

Colbin W. (a.k.a. “Glitter Troll”)

Expressions                                                                                     

“As man thinketh, so is he.”

~ Proverbs 23:7

This quote was so profound and personal to me. One would think that the way you think of yourself may lead to prosperity or good living, but it’s not always that easy. It’s not always the case for someone who has gone through life making mistake after mistake. At some point, I had to reevaluate the way that I saw myself in order to move on – not just move on, but move on in a positive way. I realized I was getting in my own way and repeated the same mistakes. I have questioned myself for years until I joined PEP and worked at incorporating the 10 Driving Values. “Fresh Start” Outlook is the value that made me refer back to these wise words. I realized I had never truly given myself a fresh start. I was stuck in the way I always viewed myself. I believe it was because I didn’t think I could get beyond my mistakes. I made them and I owned them. Accountability is not my issue. I have to give myself a chance and start living up to my full potential. I believe that I have started that now.

Of course, it has been a struggle like no other. PEP has shown me so much about myself I didn’t know. I think that is why I was so hard on myself. It wasn’t just one thing I had to address; it was several. The first months in PEP showed me how deeply flawed I was. Now I know I should utilize what I have learned to help build my life. I am in control of what I think. I will not allow anyone or anything else to dictate that to me.   

Martin Z. (a.k.a. “Rubber Ducky”)