Week 18

Week in Review

Monday February 11, 2019

Today was another great day in PEP. Some brothers started their day with some encouraging words from the Bible, some watched the news and some others of us were studying for our final test. But there is one thing that’s on every brother’s mind this morning, and that is that there are only 25 days left until graduation. Today when we got to class, we set up the room and then practiced our graduation walk. We had to do this over and over because a few brothers just couldn’t catch on, but at the end we got it done. We are all truly proud of each other.

After that, we finished our last two Art History videos. A lot of us are glad that’s over. After class, it was off to the computer lab where we filled out our job application for PEP. When we graduate, we are given the chance to become Servant-Leaders and give back to the next group of people, which we all look forward to. We also had a couple of pray-outs for a few brothers who are on their way home. That is always a blessing. We are all very excited and proud that we have finally made it to the end. Everybody is excited to see their families soon. We can’t wait for them to see us walk across the stage and how far we have come. Redeemed ’19, we are finally here at the end of the road. It has been hard and stressful at times, but we made it. Congratuations!

Jamikal B. (a.k.a. “Chocolate Cornbread”)

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Just like every other day, we started our day at 5 a.m. in the Dayroom greeting each other and getting the day started on a good note. At about 7 a.m. we heard, “Phase One, computer lab, turn out.” At the sound of this, some of us headed out to facilitate the Phase One class; some of us headed to the computer lab to fill out a job application for what we want to do after graduation; and still others of us stayed in the dorm to study for our last two tests on the book Crime and Punishment and work on our pitches.

After lunch, the rest of the class went to computer lab to fill out job applications. When we all got back from computer lab and facilitating Phase One, the real work started. It was time for pitch practice. We got into groups of five and practiced giving our pitches to one another. We also started cramming for our test that we have coming up. Some of us just have a list of vocab words that we have to learn. Being so close to the finish line is a great feeling to have. We are almost there. Finally, after a full day, we slowly decided that we were ready (or as ready as we thought we could get), so we prayed-out to end our day and start over again tomorrow. We are Redeemed ’19!

Jeffrey B. (a.k.a. “Farmer Jane”)

Wednesday February 13, 2019

The day started with the usual pray-in and reading of the Word of the day. The emcee had to go to the back of the room and dance his way to the front of the room. He then introduced the class to the new emcee, who danced to the front of the class and told everyone to face the library. This means it’s test time. It was surreal to actually be testing on our final two chapters of this course. This has been a long journey for us. You could almost hear in unison the sighs of relief! Then the class broke up into four groups for pitch panels. If you do not know what a pitch panel is, this is when speakers give a seven to 12 minute breakdown of a business plan. These pitches will be given to executives during the Business Plan Competition the day before graduation, with the top four participants giving their pitches the morning of graduation. The top business plans will be named, so learning your pitch perfectly is critical. All of us completed our pitches, and then we went to lunch.

When we returned, we were told that we are now true Servant-Leaders, and that we were now about to enter Phase Three of this program, which is all about giving back. Our class then danced to the front of the room before we were given a presentation by some of our classmates on the topic of understanding, and how understanding is needed to talk to anyone or resolve any kind of problem or situation. Then we participated in a few pray-outs. If you are unaware of what a pray out is, this is where a few of the PEP brothers that were closest to you speak on your behalf just before you are released back into society. We had a day filled with a lot of work and a lot of fellowship. PEP a true brotherhood.

Jefferson B. (a.k.a. “Bobby Bouche”)

Thursday February 14, 2019

Today was a great day as usual. Today was for Phase One. They finished up their final Robert Lewis videos and are ready to graduate to the second phase of PEP. It is amazing to see them come so far. Today, Robert Lewis discussed the importance of a man’s journey and what he wants it to be. We also watched a few videos to motivate the class. We saw Tyler Perry’s graduation speech and had the opportunity to see a news clipping of one of our PEP brothers. That was the most inspiring because it shows that someone who was in our shoes has gotten out and is doing something positive for himself. To see PEP be recognized as something positive in the public eye really is touched our hearts. At the end of class, we got the opportunity to hear the testimonies of the peer educators and Gami.

After the Phase One class was over, we went to lunch and returned to watch a movie especially for the accountability group winners. The movie was about an old man who kept coming back to prison for the same thing. The message in the movie is that a person needs to find other ways to satisfy their needs without committing a crime. I am thankful for this program and the opportunity it gives me. There is no other place in prison where the things we do are happening. We only have a few more weeks before we graduate. It’s redeemed time to lead the next phase through the challenges of the program. The integrity of this program rests in our hands, and as we’ve learned, we will be wise stewards with it. We are PEP!

Devin B. (a.k.a. “Buzz Light year”)


“Stay ready to keep from getting ready.”

~ Prison Entrepreneurship Program

This quote has inspired me and helped me grow throughout the program itself. I learned the quote in PEP, not knowing what was going to happen or how to expect the unexpected. Living up to this quote has really helped me through the struggles that I faced during the program. Always expect the unexpected, no matter what you have going on or what you might be going through.

In life, both good and bad things can happen to us without us knowing it until it’s too late. It is difficult to understand the unknown or expect it, not knowing what is going to happen or what the outcome might be. “Stay ready to keep from getting ready” really means be ready for anything, no matter what life throws at you or without knowing what lies ahead, and always put you best foot forward. Being the youngest in my Redeemed ’19 class and being at the point of graduating in a few weeks, I felt that I was up for the challenge that this program offered. I know nothing in life comes easy, no matter what it is. So not really knowing what’s to come and still being up for it, that is what I look forward to in life. I have many years ahead of me, and being the youngest to complete the program in my class and having an advantage over other young adults my age, I will continue to expect the unexpected in life.

Angel C. (a.k.a. “Little Pinky Toe”)