Week in Review

Monday, June 15, 2020

Both PEP and my family mean a great deal to me during this difficult period. My family means everything to me, especially my two children. I have prayed time and time again to make sure that they are taken care of in my absence. My son is my pride and joy, and my daughter is my anchor and my love. When you put us together we are a great team, stable and fun. There is structure when we are all together. And if you add our dogs to the picture, there is a lot more fun. There is a saying: “Life is better with a dog.” Our family strongly believes that. During these difficult times, my children are in good hands and along with my dogs, there is still a lot of fun. Praise be to God we are going to be a stronger family upon my release.

PEP has helped me with working on being a better father, having better character, and exhibiting greater patience. It has opened my eyes to the reality of a lot of things. Through PEP, my faith has grown much stronger, especially in these difficult times. PEP has created a platform for people to use, not only to create business plans, but to create success in general. What I am taking out of this program is the character development. It helps you to be who you really are (“know thyself”).

Through PEP, I have met some great people. We have grown friendships and have taken on mentorship roles to help each other grow. Through the 10 Driving Values, we are able work with more patience and turn adversities into opportunities. We have all been tested, but with each other, we will all learn to refine ourselves in the fire. That is Christian maturity.

Oscar M. (a.k.a. “Naked Mole Rat”)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Not one of us ever imagined how this COVID-19 epidemic would affect the population, let alone our families, or life as we know it. As a generation, we have never had to endure something of this magnitude. We as a whole have definitely pulled together and grown stronger as a group during these trials and tribulations. There is strength in unity!

Seeing what our families have to endure on a daily basis from either the news or from each other’s daily communications takes its toll on morale and each other’s attitudes. It has, however, opened up opportunities for us to step out of our shells as men to be more understanding and compassionate to each other’s feelings. It takes very little to push the next man up, but it speaks volumes on our character when we pull together as a team to achieve a common goal.

We are all working together to pull through these trying times, to graduate this program, and to become better men! The things that are going on in the world not only test us as individuals on our moral values and character, but also society as a whole. A saying from the Bible – and this program – is “iron sharpens iron.” So we as a group owe it to ourselves as men and to our families in this trying time to overcome these obstacles and persevere to be better than we ever have been before.

Julian M. (a.k.a. “Marshmallow”)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

During this difficult period of uncertainty, we have the chance to stop and consider what’s most important in our lives. Is it the big house with the fancy car? Sure that would be nice, but is that our end goal? Would that make us feel like our lives were a success? I say no.

So far, as a participant in the PEP revolution, I have learned a lot of things that I thought I already had the answers to. PEP has shown me the true value of a man. His worth isn’t defined by his bank account, but by his character. Sometimes we get so caught up with living life in the fast lane that we forget to stop and smell the roses. We forget to remind those we love just how much we care about them and how thankful we are that God has put them in our lives.

While we have been sitting here in prison, time has kept moving forward. Some loved ones have grown-up and some loved ones have grown old. Time is a funny thing. When you’re young, you feel like you have all the time in the world. When you’re old, all the money in the world won’t buy you a second. We should cherish the time with our loved ones, truly the only thing that holds any value in this world. We strive through life to leave a legacy that our family can look back on and be proud of, and say “a piece of me came from him.”

Arnoldo M. (a.k.a. “Sweet Armadillo”)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

PEP means so much to me since they have helped me to fix my character flaws. There were a lot of flaws that were not known to me until I came here. Even before coming to prison, there was no doubt in my mind that there was a lot that needed to be looked into. A lot of the men here are just like me. Our families were losing patience and faith in us because no matter how many chances they gave us, we always seemed to fail them. We kept on messing up and blaming our mistakes on those around us instead of stepping up and holding ourselves accountable.

Then there was PEP. It’s hard to describe the excitement that we felt when we were accepted into this revolution. Upon reflection, I realize that our families must have been worried that things wouldn’t change, that we would go back to the way it’s always been. With what PEP has given us though, I know that not only can they see a change in our lives, but that that change is real. I know they can see the 10 Driving Values projected through our lives and, in some cases, these values are being taught to our families as well. These values are beginning to play a huge role in all of our lives, bridging the gap and developing stronger bonds within our families. Families are beginning to have faith again, confident that their sons, brothers, husbands and fathers will be the men that they need.

PEP has truly been life-changing, and learning to be an entrepreneur has opened up a whole new avenue of possibilities to us all. PEP has given us a purpose and given us back our dreams of the future.

Brian M.  (a.k.a. “Bubbalicious”)

Expressions                                                                                     

“In God We Trust.”

Before I came to know God and made my life about things other than money, money was the thing that inspired me. I came from a poor family that had no money to go around, so if I wanted anything, I would have to go out and work for it. Since all types of currency have this quote stamped on it, it became an inspiration to me. I worked really hard to make as much money as I could so that I could change my life from being poor to being a man with many things. So these dollars with “In God We Trust” stamped on them helped me grow into having everything I needed or wanted.

However, with all this wealth, I was still not a happy man. Until I met God, I was still just as greedy as the rest of the world. I realized that I didn’t want to follow the god of money any longer. I do, however, want to be successful, and I know that it takes money to get these things done. PEP has helped me to see that success is much different than just financial success – it is also spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional. Thank God that I have learned these truths before it was too late.

Michael M. (a.k.a. “Broken Record”)