Select Page

Bell Summer 2023 Weekly Journals

Week 11

Monday                                                                                                                  April 17, 2023

Reflecting on the experiences we have had throughout our time in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program so far; we embrace the challenges as a response to the opportunities we must become better men. This takes effort, and each of us humbled ourselves in mutual agreement to the sum of the 10 Driving Values. By applying these concepts in our everyday, we know with complete certainty the degree of mental transformation that is being bestowed upon us for correction and molding; this is to enforce purpose. We are grateful to complement a connective discipline with like-minded brothers all striving for success in a structured environment.

Today we tested over chapter twelve of our Entrepreneurship book, the art, science, and process for success. We learned the business aspects of product management systems, financing of new firms, issues of time management, and items that will help the legitimacy of your new business.

We believe, by study and practice, to a disciplined entrepreneur and overall, we will be better men. Together we are united in strength, fully engaged in the mentality of change. The adversity we sometimes face in being men, is real no doubt, but we readily accept the challenge.

Kendrick S. (a.k.a. “Katt Williams”)

Tuesday                                                                                                               April 18, 2023

Today, April 18th, 2023, we came to class and started out our day with the usual pray-in, then immediately split into our groups for Toastmasters. We have an A side and a B side, and while one side stays in the classroom for Toastmasters, the other goes to the computer lab so they can work on their business plans and hear executive feedback, then we alternate the second half.

Our teams get honest feedback from the executives. They were saying things like you have a clever idea, you are thinking creatively, now build on that and look at the bigger picture. These comments really gave us a big boost of confidence and let us know we are on the right track.

The formatting of our pitches changed a little bit, but being in PEP we have this saying called “moving the cheese” and one thing is for sure- they moved our cheese. (This is a reference to a book, who moved my cheese. We thought we had our pitches ready for the next event on the 28th, but now we must go revise them and have them prepared sooner, but it is okay, we got this. This is only making us better and preparing us for our final business plan competition on the day of graduation.

Overall, the program is very robust and can be stressful, but we are all accepting of the change and welcoming the new man that it is being molded. Thank God for this wonderful opportunity and all the people who contribute to our success.

Henry J. (a.k.a. “Flame-Soul Plane”)


Wednesday                                                                                                        April 19, 2023

We had an exceptionally good day today. We were all happy to get an opportunity to gather again with our classmates who we call brothers. Each one of us are thankful for this brotherhood and the new things we are learning together, including how to become better men, better fathers, and sons, and soon to be better citizens in society.

We also had the chance to learn how to become better speakers and get valuable feedback from our brother Roger, who has already graduated and is a servant-leader now. This is helping us become better public speakers and sharpen our skills for our event next week and our Business Plan Competition on the day of graduation. Every one of our brothers is looking forward to the days ahead, knowing we will soon accomplish our short-term goals and then be servant-leaders.

We have come so far, and we are doing an excellent job of encouraging and motivating us all to move forward, and never to give up. Each day we get these words of encouragement, and it is extremely helpful when it comes to correcting each other in love. Anytime we get discouraged, we look back to where we came from and remember that we have our 10 Driving Values to give us the energy to push forward.

In general, we feel we are staying one step ahead with the tools and resources provided to us through this program. We believe we will keep growing and impacting the world in a positive way. We count this all to be a blessing, knowing that PEP is a gift we can all thank God for providing. Next, we want to thank the PEP staff, volunteers, and families for all the support they give us. With everyone’s contributions, we will come out better men, contributing to the world in a positive manner.

Joseph O. (a.k.a. “Gayman-Soul Plane”)


Thursday                                                                                                             April 20, 2023

Today was a wonderful day. Every time we have a Toastmasters session, it is a new experience. Our PEP brothers have funny stories, others have traumatic experiences that they share with us. Nonetheless, we learn more about the men we are around every day, and we have a fun time learning. No matter what happens in our journey, we as brothers, are finding ways to adapt and overcome difficulty together.

In the beginning, our brothers started out with their speeches being shaky and showing nervousness, but now they speak with confidence and ease. As time passes and graduation gets closer, we find ourselves being proud of who we are and how far we have come. Some men did not know we were capable of such growth, especially in a place of confinement, but regardless of that, we are committed to our success and will not let any challenges discourage us or detour us from our path.

As for our business teams, our teams have come together and are building an outstanding business plan even though we started off a little rocky. This has been a positive experience for us all and we are proud to be a part of a program that promotes integrity and growth, so much. PEP has been an amazing experience for us all and will continue to be.

Daniel R. (a.k.a. “Pound Cake”)

Friday                                                                                                                   April 21, 2023

We all had an amazing day in PEP today. First, we had the privilege to pray-out some of our brothers that are going home. This pray-out, consists of us recording a video of a brother who is going home, speaking life and inspiration unto himself. He then picks a few other brothers to whom he is closest with, and they speak positive words to him, encouraging him to stay strong and continue down the right path. Once everyone says their part, we come together as a group and pray over him and his future; it is heartfelt and full of love from brother to brother. Just this experience alone, you can feel that we are all working together in unity, looking for each other’s best interest.

After, our class was rewarded with a movie for everyone passing their test with good grades this week. The movie, Facing the Giants. It is an inspirational movie about a high school football coach who is in a downward spiral with a losing team, broken car, and at risk of losing his job. He turns to God for strength and help, never giving up; we can all relate to having hard issues.

Overall, it was a fantastic day in PEP, and we have all been working hard to get where we are today. Our pitches for this up-and-coming event will be the best we have had so far and will be perfected by the time graduation is here.

Ryan F. (a.k.a. “The Zohan”)



It takes courage for people to listen to their own goodness and act on it.

Pable Casals

If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear.

Joanna Macy

Strength has a million faces.


Week 10

Monday                                                                                                                  April 10, 2023

Today was an incredibly good day in class. Many of us passed the test we had to take over Entrepreneurship, some of us struggled, but we all had a positive outlook afterward. We only have three more tests to go, and we will be done with this section of the program, then we will focus on the financial portion of the program.

After we finished with our testing duties, we moved on to a review for the next test. The facilitator we had today was particularly good. He had everyone up, jumping around, and dancing, getting us all to wake up. We even went around the room sharing our “fun names” so that everyone could get a good laugh this morning. Overall, he brought a good atmosphere into the classroom and executed his duties with excellence.

We were able to finish out our day with genuine fun and laughter, but also had a serious talk about respect; respect for ourselves, our brothers, and everyone else. This is a core value that we all need to implement into our daily lives no matter the circumstances.

Patrick R. (a.k.a. “Plankton”)


Tuesday                                                                                                               April 11, 2023

Today was another Toastmasters session. We are currently on Topic #6, so it was particularly important to pay attention to our brothers speaking. As we go further into the topics, the speeches get more intense. We are still learning what not to do through feedback from our servant leaders. They coach us through the process and formalities. There were a few brothers that did an excellent job speaking on life and how they want to do better, but some of us are not particularly good speakers at the moment- mostly due to the nervousness of speaking in front of an audience, but we are getting better.

While we sat and listened to everyone’s speeches and everything else going on in the background, we realized that the Servant-Leaders have it hard sometimes too. They must make sure everyone is doing their part and take care of their personal duties as well. Now we know, we must take the good with the bad in all circumstances- which is hard to do at times. Not many of us know how to take constructive criticism, so we must try not to take it personally; it is part of the character development process and will make us better in all areas of life. There is no doubt that the servant leaders do this out of love and for the betterment of our future.

PEP has made us open our eyes and taught us to self-discipline. For many of us we have been out of school for a long time, so we were surprised how quickly we caught on. Our business plans and grade point averages (GPA’s) have also improved. We are all looking forward to graduation so that we can become Servant-Leaders and give back to the next group of guys that come. PEP has given us a way and a will in life, now, and once we get out. Thank you PEP for everything!

Paul N. (a.k.a. “George Lopez”)


Wednesday                                                                                                        April 12, 2023

As of today, we have grown as individuals and as a community. We are grateful to have this opportunity as a second chance. Many people are not as fortunate as we have been, so each of us are taking full advantage of this program and everything that it has to offer.

We have learned what it means to truly have integrity as a man, fathers, and an individual. We have also been gaining more courage, learning how to speak in front of a large audience, which for many of us, was impossible when we first started this program. Many fears that we had in the beginning, we are now overcome with confidence. We know everything in life takes time, but we have come such a long way from what we used to be. And in such a short amount of time our improvement is tremendous. It is not easy adjusting to this kind of environment, but it is a profound change for us, and it is much needed. We are being transformed into better men and this environment is conducive to that transformation.

Taking all that we are learning from here, we will be able to transition into society as successful, contributing members of the community. We may all struggle sometimes, but we find that we can count on each other as brothers and give each other good advice. We believe our values and moral compasses are being restored and we are all extremely thankful for that. We are honored to be a part of something so great.

Paul C. (a.k.a. “Hungry Eyes”)


Thursday                                                                                                             April 13, 2023

Today, we are grateful for the opportunity to be participants in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. This is something we never imagined would happen, but we are glad it did. This is another day my brothers and I get to grow together, spend some time together, and get one step closer to our goals, including graduation.

The three things we accomplished today included: toastmasters; passing our Living in The Village test; and successfully running our team pitches as a class- which we did with excellence.

As a class (Summer’23), we have come a long way. We have strengthened our brotherhood each day, encouraged our fellow brothers to not quit even though they want to give up. We are overcoming challenges together, not just the challenges of the program, but the personal challenges. We choose, every day, not to let one of our brothers fall and we plan to keep it that way.

No matter what, we show our courage to succeed. We show our love for one another with no judgement or misconceptions. We are living proof of the 10 Driving Values. And we are class of Summer ’23!

Reynaldo M. (a.k.a. “Pikachu”)

Friday                                                                                                                   April 14, 2023

Today was a superb day! Although we were feeling tired, we chose to make the best of it with perseverance and an excellent, mindful attitude. We knew that today, just like every day, is not just about ourselves, but about our brothers as well.

Starting out our day, we prayed, then we immediately went to practice our pitches for our business plan competition. Many of us felt like it was getting a bit repetitive, but we know that it is necessary, and that perfect practice makes perfect. We are all grateful for this time spent rehearsing and the constructive feedback from our fellow brothers, without it, we would not be where we are today. Knowing everything we know now, after letting all the feedback sink in, we will be stronger and better in all instances of life. This program is a building block for our lives, so we must let everything here mold us into the men we want to be, not break us.

Each day that goes by, we are getting better and moving closer to our goals. It is amazing to think about how much untapped potential we all have within ourselves. We see it now, and we see how this program is bringing out the best in us and the best of us. We are unleashing that untapped potential, learning every day, and implementing these new values and skills we have into our daily lives. Sometimes we look at each other and are struck by the fact that we are doing all we are doing right now; at times, it feels as if we are not even incarcerated.

This is an amazing feeling, and our friends and families would be amazed if they knew all the benefits we are reaping from this program. If there is anything we should all be grateful for today, it is the fact that we were all able to spend another day growing together as a brotherhood. We see no division among us, and we hold one another to a higher standard. We aim and strive for good faith by being the best we can be.

Rene V. (a.k.a. “Mr. Krabs”)



We never know how high we are till we are asked to rise and then if we are true to plan our statures touch the skies.

Emily Dickinson

To be courageous requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula. It’s an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all and each person must look for that courage in his own soul.

John F. Kennedy

I am only one, but still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

 Helen Keller

Week 9

Monday                                                                                                                    April 3, 2023

Today, during the first half of the day, we had a free day. We took the time to work together as teams and polish our business pitches, preparing for the next event. We were practicing and practicing until we felt we had them down.

For the second half of the day, we had a turn of the tables; it was time for Toastmasters. This course has been an exciting experience. We have all had the chance to come out of our shells and become better at public speaking. Though some of us still find this to be particularly challenging, we are all on our sixth speeches and seem to be progressing quickly. We have all come a long way and I believe that we will accomplish this goal together.

With our brothers sharing multiple life stories from their past, we have all come to know each other a lot better and are being brought even closer. As a brotherhood, as a fraternity, we have learned from one another and live to serve one another. We now share stories of our hopes, goals, and dreams of who we aspire to be once we are home.

Charles W. (a.k.a. “Folgers”)


Tuesday                                                                                                                 April 4, 2023

We had such a good day in class today. We started out with a prayer and jumped into Toastmasters. On another unit, where some of us were before PEP, they were offering us Toastmasters as well, but many of us did not follow through with it because of how nervous we to get speaking in front of a crowd. The setting is a little different here, so most of us are inclined to speak.

Thanks to PEP, we have overcome our fears of public speaking and can honestly say that we will be able to break through new obstacles that enter our paths. We are no longer nervous to get up in front of a group of people and speak on any given topic, well, maybe not as nervous. We are starting to realize that it is more than just public speaking, it is a necessary skill to have on your tool belt, especially in the business world; nobody wants to talk to a robot or disengaged businessman. Toastmasters helps you to overcome many fears in life. It helps with bringing people out of their shells and maximizing their potential of becoming a better communicator.

Not good at speaking? Having trouble closing business deals? Feel like your words are running together? Toastmasters is your answer.

Joseph W. (a.k.a. “Bam Bam”)


Wednesday                                                                                                          April 5, 2023

Today was a wonderful day for the class of Summer ’23. We took a test over the Deadly Viper book, and everyone passed with good grades. This was an accomplishment for many of us, so we were feeling good and are hoping to have many more days like this one. It will give our self-esteem a boost and keep us wanting more.

Another exciting event that happened today was the uniform fitting. We all gathered around and talked about the days to come while we awaited our turn to give our sizes for our cap and gowns. It was a great feeling knowing we have come this far already, that we are almost graduates, and we are one step closer to becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Thanks to the exceptional staff here at PEP, and the fellow Alumni, we have a particularly good support system to help us reintegrate into society with the tools and resources needed to succeed in all our endeavors. We could not be more grateful for these people and this wonderful opportunity.

 Thank you to everyone who made all this possible, and we can assure you, you will not regret the contributions you make to this program and us men. We are going to prove ourselves worthy.

Christopher R. (a.k.a. “Consuela”)


Thursday                                                                                                               April 6, 2023

My brothers and I have been through a lot to get to where we are today, but we are overcoming these obstacles with excellence and execution. At first, we struggled to come out of our shells and really get to know each other, we are doing well and striving for our successes together.

Today we did Toastmasters, and we are getting good with our public speaking. Many of us struggled a lot at first, but now it is as if we are looking forward to our Tuesday and Thursday Toastmasters. We are all coming out of our shells more each day, becoming less anti-social and more prone to speak with each other on a more personal level.

Our speeches are based on all different topics, but most of us are currently speaking on past experiences that led us to where we are today, the changes we have made, and how we plan to continue progressing towards our passions and goals. This is where we see what our true driving forces are in life, the motivations for success, and what proves us to be moving in the direction of becoming better men, fathers, and husbands.

Hermeregildo V. (a.k.a. “Cactus Annie”)



When we do face the difficult times, we need to remember that circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal a person.

Emma Jameson

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.

Rosa Parks

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.


Week 7

Monday                                                                                                               March 20, 2023

PEP has presented us with opportunity for us to grow, not just for ourselves, but for our families as well. We are extremely grateful.

Today our class took a test over chapters seven and eight in the Entrepreneurship textbook. It was a bit challenging, but we were prepared. Many did quite well because they are spending everyday studying for the following test. We choose to pursue success no matter the circumstances; we are a brotherhood.

As a class, many of us have grown and seen growth in each other. PEP has given us a new perspective, a new perspective on life and the many opportunities it has to offer us, as well as the potential we have to succeed in this life. And for the families of all of our brothers, you will see how the core principles of this program have made such a positive impact on every last one of us.

Integrity, servant-leader mentality, and execution are just a few of the 10 driving values PEP has instilled in us. Because of these values, we all have raised the bar on our self-expectations as men. We hope to one day reflect on our time in PEP and know that this is where our change and growth blossomed into the real deal and transformed us into the men we are meant to be.

Koby S. (a.k.a. “Worm”)


Tuesday                                                                                                             March 21, 2023

Today, we are grateful to have had our weekly Toastmasters class. A class where we have the pleasure to get to know one another on a more personal level, showing each other our vulnerabilities and our weak spots, and proving that no one here is perfect, and this is a judgement free zone.

Throughout this course, we are all given the chance to express ourselves through our speeches. We have the freedom to choose a topic and whether we are going to inform, entertain, or persuade and inspire one another. Above all, we get the opportunity to become better speakers, break out of our shells, and learn to speak properly in front of crowds.

Overall, we accomplished so much today. We had a successful Toastmaster’s session, holding ourselves and our brothers accountable for one another’s mistakes. This was not just for the purpose of pointing out each other’s flaws, but in order for us to be able give each other constructive feedback and get better. We also learned that not everyone is against us, the feedback we get often comes from love, and we can’t build our character without accountability and integrity.

Everyday completed in this program is another day closer to being the best version of ourselves.

Jonathan J. (a.k.a. “Fruit Loops”)


Wednesday                                                                                                      March 22, 2023

As we sit and reflect on our day, we think of the comradery of all our brothers being united for a cause. Everyone coming together for our business pitches, striving for each other’s causes, and being selfless in helping one another achieve our goals. We have seen brothers writing out their pitches, scratching them out, and writing them again. We are trying to make the best extensions of ourselves in these pitches, so we stay persistent; this is something we didn’t think we would see in a place like this, but PEP is bringing the light out of all of us.

Knowing that change is sometimes hard to see within ourselves, we see it each of our brothers, and we are amazed. We are absolutely grateful to be a part of this experience and a part of something bigger than ourselves.

As we overcome the challenges that are presented to us, some render, but most of us continue to take on the challenge of fighting for success. Our natural instinct is to quit and take the easy way out, but with this brotherhood, we will excel, being victorious in all we do. Perseverance is the key to this experience, and it is something we are all learning along the way. We are practicing for excellence and success, while being brought together in unity.

Hernan M. (a.k.a. “Woody from Toy Story”)


Thursday                                                                                                           March 23, 2023

Today we had the opportunity to further establish our understanding on how to pitch our respective business ideas. By taking the time to familiarize ourselves with this aspect of our entrepreneurial journeys, we are able to grow not only in our public speaking, but also gain more confidence in our business plans as a whole. Having our fellow entrepreneurs in a position to critique our presentations in a positive way and motivate us to be more confident, we are privy to an excellent group of minds that can only help in our growth.

We all utilized this part of our day to the fullest. The atmosphere was electric as always. In terms of comradery, this class is ahead of the curve. We always support each other’s path in a positive nature. To be from all different walks of life like we are, it’s a great show of humility from all of us to come together as a brotherhood. As always, we enjoyed our day together and use every day that passes as a stepping stone towards our up-an-coming graduation.

This process that were are currently going through can only bear fruit in the way that we approach our development.

Leon D. (a.k.a. “Tony the Tiger”)


Friday                                                                                                                 March 24, 2023

Today, we are grateful to have another day in our PEP class and to be able to share the love that we have for one another. We started off our day with the usual pray-in, then began to break into our groups of CEO, COO, CMO, and CFO, so that we could prepare our pitches for the day. This was an important day, and though we had a limited amount of time to memorize our pitches, we were all fairly prepared. Once we were able to pitch fluidly as a group, we had to record our workshop videos and have them sent to the executives so they could give feedback on how we could improve our pitches.

We believe it is a wonderful privilege to participate in this program and we are so thankful for this opportunity. We know that this program will bring us success in all areas of life, giving that the 10 driving values we stand by are constantly building our character. This is something we take very seriously, because we all want to be better husbands, brothers, and sons throughout the remainder of our lives.

We have all been through some hard times just like anyone else, but we choose to let those hard times drive us for the better and not for the worst. With all of us having goals we plan to reach, we must be determined and put in the effort. Throughout this process, we must remember how valuable we are and that all things are possible with God. He will put everything into its proper place along the way, we just have to do the work in here, and out there.

Thank you PEP staff, for everything that you do for us. God Bless!

Kevin Q. (a.k.a. “Al Pachino”)




The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. In the long run, we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die.  

Eleanor Roosevelt


We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can from life .

Sir William Osler


In the morning ask yourself, “What good shall I do today?” As the day draws to a close ask yourself, “What good have I done today?”           

Benjamin Franklin


Week 6

Monday                                                                                                               March 13, 2023

Wow! Today was a beautiful day, we were all anxious to take the economic unit test, thinking it was going to be extremely hard, but at the end of the day the test really wasn’t all that bad. So, we all learned something new today, if you set your mind on something being hard and you’re not going to pass a test, when the time comes to take that test, you have already failed. If you have a positive mindset and believe that you will be able to do well and pass the test, you will do well and pass the test.

We are grateful to have already come this far in the program. When the going gets tough, some have had thoughts of giving up, but we always find a way to push through, and usually, it is from the help of a fellow brother. We choose to fight through the pressure, because we know we will come out better and stronger. We will all be diamonds in the rough at the end of this.

Graduation is only eight more weeks away and we are all ecstatic. We are all moving closer to our goal of beating the Estes Unit in the Business Plan Competition. That is one of our main goals right now and we plan to hold that title when the time comes.

Thank you PEP, and everyone who is involved with this program. All of us men are extremely grateful for this opportunity and will do everything in our power to utilize the tools  given to us so that we may be better men and successful entrepreneurs.

Jason J. (a.k.a. “Dak Prescott”)


Tuesday                                                                                                             March 14, 2023

Today we had the opportunity to participate in Toastmasters. It is a public speaking course that is helping us to be able to speak in front of each other, as well as the executive volunteers. The assignments are made up of speeches that have different values and points to hit. Some of these values/points include the use of: metaphors, similes, stage presence, and eye contact.

This part of our curriculum is very valuable to us all in many ways. It is allowing us to really come out of our shells and overcome our fears of public speaking. In turn, many are letting down our guards and allowing our brother to have insight into our lives. This is a big step for all of us.

The second half of class, we were able to work on our business plans and type them into the computers. This is exciting for us, and we can really tell the difference the program is making in our lives as we write out our product and services offerings. We have noticed a lot of our brothers marveling at the content they are entering into the computers, often times saying; “I can’t believe I wrote this. I’m so proud of myself.” The pride and excitement that is coursing through the PEP room is almost palpable. It’s exhilarating, to say the least. Many of us have learned along the way that the things in life worth doing, aren’t always easy, but they are definitely worth the challenge. We are all so thankful for this life-changing opportunity.

Daniel B. (a.k.a. “Madea”)


Wednesday                                                                                                      March 15, 2023

Today was a good day. The great Lord woke us up and blessed us with another opportunity to learn and grow from PEP. We also were grateful for being able to finish our readings in the book, True North. Though, there was a lot of great information being given to us throughout the book and we retained what was important to us, we are glad to being moving onto the next book in our book club so that we may further our success.

One of the main things we learned from today was to use time management when studying so that we retain the information better and have time for other priorities. Now, even if we can’t remember everything we read when it comes time to test over the material, we don’t get discouraged, we give it our best shot. That’s why we’re here, to give it our all.

When Jeff Humphrey, PEP staff, came in today, he expressed to us how important it is to embrace each opportunity given us to talk with the executives that come in for our events and the Business Plan Competition. Some of these things make us nervous, but we are learning that it is important for us to break out of our shells, laugh a little, and gain a little courage and humility in the process.

To end the day off, Jeff taught us about Servant-Leader Mentality and how important it is to implement this into our lives. It will not only contribute to our success in business, but in our family lives and interactions with people of society. As the class goes on, we will all continue to work on our character, and we hope to obtain and retain all knowledge and wisdom that is being given to us.

PEP, thank you for this opportunity!

Charles P. (a.k.a. “Larry The Cable Guy”)




Thursday                                                                                                           March 16, 2023

Today was incredibly positive. We had to take a test over Living in the Village, and it went much better than we expected. We have all been studying pretty hard and the last few test we took were difficult, and some of us, have been struggling a little bit, so we were pleased to see this test wasn’t near as challenging. Honestly, it was quite a relief to know the majority of us did well on this test and you could see it; satisfaction.

Many of us are doing things we haven’t done in decades, so making these sudden transitions has been a bit overwhelming. Regardless of the anxiety, we choose to keep our heads up and stay with a “can-do” attitude, because we know this is all for the betterment of ourselves. This program is what we all needed and we truly value it.

People out there are counting on us to come back better men, fathers, brothers, and sons and this is our chance to get it right. We may still have a ways to go, but each day that passes, we are moving forward and progressing into the men we need to be. By the grace of God, we have a good group of brothers here in the classroom, encouraging one another to do their best and be their best.

Thank you all very much!

Johnny R. (a.k.a. “Kool-Aid Man”)


Thursday                                                                                                           March 16, 2023

Today was a wonderful day in PEP; it was Toastmaster Day. Toastmasters is a phenomenal class where we learn public speaking and how to properly give a speech. Not only do we learn the skills needed to give a proper speech, we get to evaluate each other’s speeches according to the guidelines set in the book. This gives us a chance to give constructive feedback so that our brothers will improve and overcome any fears they may still have about public speaking. There was many of us that were nervous when we did our first couple of speeches, but now we are performing them with ease as if it were something we have done all of our lives.

Another blessing we got today was two guest speakers: Courtney D., an accountant with PEP, and Roderick H., the owner and CEO of Ironrod Steel Company, who came by to speak with us and give us some valuable insight into his success story. A previously incarcerated inmate in TDCJ, Roderick has not only completed the last remaining years of his parole successfully, but he also pursued his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. He now owns his own business where he employs 10 people and had over 2.5 million in sales revenue last year.

Listening to Roderick’s success story was very inspiring. Come to find out, he is very down-to-earth and super knowledgeable in his industry. He not only answered all of our questions but took the time to elaborate enough so we could all grasp a better understanding of what he was talking about. Also, he had Courtney chime in on the financial aspects of this type of business and the funding that is offered to us through PEP upon our release and the completion of e-school.

Thank God for allowing us to have this opportunity to participate in PEP. We will definitely cherish this decision, and the PEP brotherhood, for the rest of our lives.

Austin R. (a.k.a. “Allen from Hangover”)


Friday                                                                                                                 March 17, 2023

Today we had a Servant-Leader come in to teach us about Living in the Village. His name is Paul S., and let me tell you, he is highly intelligent. He knows this book inside and out. Any question we had, he was able to answer it in full detail with no issues. Being as this book is a little out of date, he was able to give us real-time data on how everything is today. If he didn’t have the information, he could tell you where to find it.

After the lesson was taught, we all had a chance to speak with him about his plans upon his release. He goes home next week and we were curious as to what our brother is going to do with his life and his career. He already has his Bachelor’s Degree, but is going to pursue more education. We all believe he is going to accomplish many great things. There is no doubt in our minds that Paul is going to get out and be very successful. We need more people like him in this world.

Lastly, we prayed out, everyone returned to their dorms with a smile on their face and a new, positive outlook on life. This program is absolutely outstanding, and we are so grateful to have the chance to participate in it with each other. The brotherhood is only getting stronger. Thank you all!

James P. (a.k.a. “Herbert”)




We have enough people who tell it like it is-now we could use a few who tell it like it can be.     

Robert Orben


This I know. This I believe with all my heart. If we want a free and peaceful world, if we want to make deserts bloom and man to grow to greater dignity as a human being-we can do it!        

Eleanor Roosevelt


It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.   

Jackie Mutcheson


Week 5

Monday                                                                                                                 March 6, 2023

We were all grateful to have the opportunity to see a fellow brother go home today. He will be missed, but we are excited for him to continue into the next phase of his life’s journey. We were also grateful today for the additional hour we had this morning to prepare for our Entrepreneurship test. We were able to give each other a short review before we took the test. This was beneficial for all of us when it was “test time.”

The top three things we accomplished today were the chapter test, a review of next week’s test, and preparation of our opening statements for the Business Plan Competition. The Entrepreneurship test taught us about marketing plans and what that entails. Next week’s test, which we will be studying for this week, will be about cash flow analysis and other financial business tools.

Today, we have moved closer to our goal of becoming successful entrepreneurs. We solidified the knowledge in our minds through working together to learn the material in chapter 11 of the Entrepreneurship book and we know we will do the same for the following chapters. We will continue to do this with humility, discipline, and perseverance, so we may overcome anything that places a barrier in our lives.

Brian C.


Tuesday                                                                                                               March 7, 2023

Today, we as a brotherhood had the opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level and talk about our business plans for the business plan competition. We all had some good ideas and pitches that were on point. There was no judging or harsh opinions being made, which we consider to be excellent teamwork and support.

We really learned some valuable things today, things like teamwork, support, and giving constructive, but positive, feedback on ideas. We were able to really get the basics of everything and the logistics of the roles we will be in for our business teams. We are looking forward to some friendly, but strong, competition.

Today we also got to talk about the things that landed us here and what we plan to do different in here, and out there, that will take us down the road of success. We feel that through this program and competition, we will all be able to really come together and call each other brothers. We call each other PEP brothers now, but we will have a whole new respect and love for each other after we continuously grow together.

We wish the best for all our brothers and truly hope we are all able to get our businesses off the ground. It would be a great feeling seeing another PEP brother down the road in life and see his business flourishing.

Daniel C.


Wednesday                                                                                                        March 8, 2023

Brothers of Summer 23’. Here we are, it is Wednesday the 8th of March. We are still standing tall, ten toes down in the “trenches”, dedicated to this new lifestyle of living “between the wings.” We are all 23 days into our new life, and a day closer to a bigger and brighter future. We can say we have had some long days grinding it out together, sharing the opportunities of watching each other grow, motivating one another and reflecting on our progress. Some of us still need a little buffing, others a little bit of polishing, but we will do it together. We are all here to shine our best and be better, because we all have a dream or vision that we are ready to bring to reality for our children, our families, and ourselves.

We are in it, to win it. We are a brotherhood, let us not forget that, or the ambition we had when we were completing the modules. That sense of pride we had when we received the letters from PEP, feeling important and wanted. Now we are able to come together as brothers. We start the day off in prayer, followed by some dancing down the road to becoming our own boss. And throughout our day, we share plenty of laughs as we receive the tools needed to succeed as a successful entrepreneur.

PEP is providing the keys to success, we just have to observe them closely. As we master the principles of their philosophy and begin to follow, and live by, the 10 Driving Values, we will improve our character and find our true north (a book the class is reading). We should be proud of ourselves, and honored to share the space to become who we were meant to be… Leaders, role models, and most of all, fathers.

Pablo O.


Thursday                                                                                                             March 9, 2023

Today was Toastmasters Thursday, so we had the opportunity to exercise and polish our speeches. We are grateful to be in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program because we are learning and growing in many different ways. Our “cheese” Is constantly getting moved, but we don’t panic, we move with it. (Who moved my Cheese is a book that the class is reading).

Every day that we show up to class, we are moving one step closer to our goal of completing the program on the inside. Once we meet these goals, we are setting new ones, then moving towards accomplishing those goals. We are breaking negative cycles and patterns, turning over a new leaf, and working towards positive cycles and patterns.

Today we learned about budgeting and managing our finances today, which is highly important for our success. This is something that we can take with us and share with our family and friends. We are also learning important values of perseverance, discipline, humility and hard work, and implementing them into our daily lives. We do this with excellence and gratitude, obtaining wisdom we didn’t have before.

We are breaking out of our shells and becoming more comfortable speaking in front of people, along with learning what it means to be an entrepreneur. We are getting prepared to be successful citizens, returning to society as positive role models in the lives of our families and the community as a whole. At PEP, we are learning that the “impossible,” is possible.

Gabriel M.


Friday                                                                                                                 March 10, 2023

Today was an awesome day, and this program is an awesome program. Ever since we started working on our character development skills, we have been equipped with the proper tools to be successful men and are empowered to do so. The different curriculum we have been learning, and are learning today, helps us to recognize our flawed character traits and shows us how to change them for the better.

We have learned to have better listening skills, showing empathy and compassion for others, and most of all, self-discipline and accountability. This program helps us to be accountable and to hold one another accountable, but it is only out of love. We truly believe that by holding one another accountable, we will be able to accept responsibility for our actions, learn from our mistakes, and be better at controlling our behaviors. Also, we know that we must have a healthy support group in place so that we have people to lean on in a time of need. These people will give us direction, comfort, and support throughout our daily struggles, supplying helpful, but constructive, feedback when needed.

Here at PEP, we understand how important leadership is, and we are being molded into leaders so that we may go out into the community being positive role models, having a positive impact on everyone we encounter. All of us brothers are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program and everyone will see that, especially our loved ones. They will see that we are taking the steps to change and be a positive influence for those around us. Every day we are moving closer to our goals of being better men, better fathers, and better children to our parents.

Sometimes life isn’t always fair, we get that, but we don’t let that discourage us. Instead, we reach down into our moral compass and look for the next right action to take, then we take it. We stand together on this as a brotherhood, fighting the good fight together, dishing out our selfish desires and doing what is best for one another. We have learned that we cannot do this on our own, we need each other. We believe in each other and encourage each other in all circumstances. We do this together no matter what.

Timothy M.



All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1000 days. Nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

John F. Kennedy


Everyone who does the best he or she can do should be considered a hero.

Josh Billings


To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.         

Josephine Billings

Week 3

Monday                                                                                                          February 20, 2023

Today in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), we had the opportunity to meet some of the alumni from the program and present our first business pitches (sharing our business ideas) with them. It was a wonderful experience! We are without a doubt extremely grateful the alumni willingly took the time out to come back, participate with us, and give us constructive, always positive, feedback. With their help today we overcome our fear of speaking in public. These men also taught us that second chances really do exist. And although things won’t be easy all the time and the work will be hard, it is all possible. If we just stick to it, the rewards will be bountiful. Being able to meet these graduates makes the vision and feelings real. Seeing them making positive efforts and thriving in society, definitely shows that this program works. Just knowing these men once sat in the same seats as our class now sits in, gives us a sense of knowing that we are moving in the right direction. We may not understand why we must do some of the character development that is involved with the program, but we will trust the process.

Joshua B.


Monday                                                                                                         February 20, 2023

Wow! What a super eventful day we have had today. We were an anxious group today! None the less, PEP strong, we all rose to the occasion. It was the big day for our pitches (presentations about our potential businesses). We looked right into the face of fear, nervousness, and apprehension and overcame our past submissiveness to our fears of public speaking with ease. And now that we have the brotherhood at our backs and our sides. Nothing will stop the class of Summer ’23 from achievement of the highest level. It was such a beautiful outcome of the day to say the least. We gave our pitches to members of the PEP alumni, reaching to the depths of their hearts. Execution and excellence was demonstrated by every last one of us through our craft and studies, all while we were having fun. Being able to pick the brains of our alumni brothers filled our minds with strength and innovation. Seeing them at the pinnacle of their lives really laid the foundation for what a fresh start outlook feels like and looks like. Not to mention the looks of servant-leader mentality firsthand. The brotherhood is accountability for each and every one of us. This is driven with the only possible motor- love. That’s what we really received today; love, plain and simple. The integrity of this program comes from the love each brother has for the one sitting right next to him. As we reflect on the events of today: laughing, shouting, and smiling. We each gained a little from it. We can truly start to see now, this is what the real PEP is about.

Noah N.

Tuesday                                                                                                       February 21, 2023

We had a good day today during Toastmasters. Things got a little harder with our second speeches since we are really having to analyze our speech context, but it’s a good opportunity for us to step-up our game and get us prepared to pitch to the executives(people who volunteer to come to the unit and help each class grow into their potential). We also had to vote on who would be pitching this Friday, and though there are still some kinks in the dynamics of the class, we will persevere in all we do to make sure we succeed. With the speeches and stories that were being told today, we had the chance to learn more about the brothers in our class and form more of a bond. Not only did we learn about who they were, but who they are now, and who they plan to be in the future. It was an awesome experience. In all, today was a good day. If we can keep up the current momentum, we will all do great and be an exemplary graduating class. With the help of our family liaison, Mrs. Black, our families will know how serious we are about this program and all the positivity that comes with it. Hopefully, this will allow for us all to mend some of our strained relationships and bring our loved ones back together.

Justin P.


Wednesday                                                                                                  February 22, 2023

Today we started off a little late, but as always, better late than never. It feels good to start the day with prayer for greatness with all of our brothers regardless of our personalities and belief differences. We are continuing to set aside our differences and creating opportunities for us men to grow together and encourage each other. You know, just having the chance to do something that is going to promote a positive change in our lives and the lives of those around us, is very fulfilling. We are currently reading a book called True North, which is teaching us about leadership and what it takes to make the transformation possible. It’s kind of funny, a lot of us a natural born leaders, but we just don’t realize it. We are learning that now though, and we can see that most of our leadership skills stems from past experiences and failures we have had to overcome. This is a true blessing. To end the day, we were able to leave class and meet up with the Securus tech so that those of us from PEP who didn’t have our tablets could go pick them up. This is a great gift for most of us. We have been waiting a long time for this moment so that we have a better means of communication with our loved ones, and not to mention the movies we can rent. Everything about this place and this program is wonderful.

Darrius L. (a.k.a. “Big Worm”)


Thursday                                                                                                      February 23, 2023

Today we were all gathered in class to do Toastmasters. We all participated very well according to the guidelines. Some of us were still on our first speech called the Icebreaker, and some were able to start on our second speech, further talking about who we are now compared to who we were. We all shared some of our deepest secrets, breaking further out of our shells. Just having everyone get up and participate accordingly really amazes me. I know we all have potential in life, but sometimes we fail to see that and need encouragement. We accomplished so much in unity, showing our growth in servant-leadership. I believe we all did an excellent job coming together, encouraging each other, and helping one-another to develop proper communication skills. We have some amazing servant-leaders (graduates of PEP but have not been released yet) that help us through our struggles in our daily lives as well. As we continue to come together and uplift each other, I know we will reach our goals in life. We all stand strong in our beliefs and together as a Brotherhood. If one of our brothers is feeling down, or like he can’t make it for any reason, it is our job to pick him up and build him up. We are a family here, and we truly believe this program is going to help us get to where we need to be in life, outpouring with love, passion, and humility.

Adrian M.


Friday                                                                                                            February 24, 2023

Today was a momentous day and a complete success for the entire unit. PEP had a winning day. The volunteer executives came with impeccable energy, promoting us to do our best and show them our greatest appreciation. All of the brothers engaged the audience with excellence and the executives followed; for once we didn’t feel like inmates. We felt like modern citizens with a positive outlook on our current situation. It’s safe to say we left with a fresh-start outlook and a smile that could carry a man a long way. As the students gave their pitches, walls were being broken down, barriers were broken through, and bridges were being built. People of all backgrounds were all as one, smiling and shaking hands. The unity was beautiful and magnificent. The executives were attentive as we gave our best to show them our appreciation for them blessing us with their time and resources. The way they took notice to every single one of us, and our pitches, blew us all away. They even gave us positive feedback that warmed our hearts, and we enjoyed every moment of it. We were hanging on to each word that was spoken as if they were precious jewels. The testimonies given from the alumni made us know that we too, will be successful if we follow the path that is laid out before us. When they laughed and danced, it allowed us to let our guards down and be ourselves with them, showing them the men that we are striving to be. To top it off, we were given cookies that had a taste of freedom, bringing us memories of the small stuff we are fighting to get back to. Thank you, to all volunteers and PEP staff. We are so thankful for all of you coming here and making us one big family. Even though we may think we don’t deserve it, you reach out your hands just as God gives us his grace. Be blessed, because we, “Summer 23”, are already blessed to be here.

Thank you from all of us.

Roderick J. (a.k.a. “Mr. Brown”)


Friday                                                                                                            February 24, 2023

The Big Idea Pitch Day was a lot of fun, we all put in the work to get ready to go up in front of everyone and basically give them our idea of our dream business.  The energy that flowed through the PEP family and the coming together of everyone lifting each other up and cheering on each other was an incredible experience. PEP giving us an experience and opportunity like this is truly a blessing and really goes to show how great of a program this is.  We got to not only share our ideas in a business pitch format but we also received instant feedback from real world business professionals that do this on a day to day basis. The real advise was on how to do things or advise on marketing ideas  and on how to make a successful company work instead of it just being a dream on paper.  Not only did we get great feedback on our ideas we also got to hear some of their stories of starting from the bottom and with hard work and never losing the dream anyone including us can achieve amazing things and become our own bosses and make a positive difference in the world.  Overall it was a real humbling experience and really helped us take that step back and look at the opportunities were getting and changing for the better so we can all be the best version of us when we finally get to go home and put our business plans into action.  PEP is helping us turn our lives around!

Timothy M.


Friday                                                                                                            February 24, 2023

Our Big Idea Pitch event day went well today. We all were really excited to be in attendance as well as pitch our business ideas to successful executives. We were very grateful to be able to hear our successor’s stories on how they came out of prison and were able to change their lives in a positive way. They also gave us some positive feedback and motivation to do the same with our lives and business endeavors. This day was a very inspiring and monumental day for us here at PEP. Being able to hear the stories from all the different executives, some being in prison and some just coming here for support, gives us hope in life. We were all extremely fascinated and inspired by Bryan Kelly’s story especially. He had a life sentence, got a second chance, and got involved with PEP to dramatically change his life. Just knowing that he was able to overcome his struggles with adapting to the new world and the many obstacles with gaining employment, is empowering. His story definitely changed us. These awesome executives provided us with amazing feedback that will be critical to our life transformations. They shared some of their wisdom and experience with each and every one of us. We are all honored to be a part of this program and this event. We will never forget the experience we had. We felt like we weren’t in prison for a couple of hours because of all the love and respect with which we were treated. This opportunity let us know how special we really are and we will all take full advantage of the resources available. Thank you to all the volunteers who were apart of this wonderful event.

Michael S.


Friday                                                                                                            February 24, 2023

This day is a day that will not be forgotten. Experiencing love and welcoming hearts from the time the event began. We were welcomed by the executives and our PEP brothers with the “tunnel of love.” Everyone was shouting us praises and encouraging words, filling the atmosphere with an energy that ignited a fire inside of us that has yet to be put out. We then expressed ourselves through our business pitches to these people of vast knowledge and influence. They were able to give us great feedback and direction from their oceans of information and experiences in life. This was amazing. In business, February 24th, was a day we were heard, empowered, and loved. We were able to express our thoughts that we have been stewing on for so long, on a platform in front of many. No longer will we have to sit on these thoughts, we now have the ability to turn them into action. This program, our brothers, and the executives, have allowed all of us to escape from behind these walls and build a business mindset. We are learning to be able to work together, pushing ourselves and each other harder than ever, and never giving up the good fight. A fight that will allow us to be successful and implement our driving values into our daily lives so that we can be men of great character. Not only for ourselves, but for our families and our brothers to come.

Victor T.



Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.        

-William James

Some people strengthen our society just by being the kind of people they are.      

-John W. Gardner

There are those whose lives affect all others around them. Quietly touching one heart, who in turn, touches another. Reaching out to ends further than they would ever know.

­-William Bradfield


Week 2

Monday                                                                                                          February 13, 2023

Today marks our second week of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). We started our day with an awesome pray-in by one of our fellow brothers. Shortly after, we were given a brief overview of the material we were about to test on; Chapters one and two of the Entrepreneurship book, covering the basics of business. Afterward, we were given our first test of the program. It was a timed test, in which we all had twenty minutes to complete. It seemed like the entire class did well on the test. And the facilitators did a through job covering the material needed for us to successfully pass the test. Once everything had been collected, we immediately jumped into the overview of the next two chapters. The facilitators again did a great job here as well. They showed us different power points, allowed everyone to ask questions, and gave plenty of feedback to ensure all the material was covered appropriately and everyone had a better understanding of the information. During the second half of the day, we gained a better understanding of three of our 10 driving values- love, fun, and execution. This was accomplished by our class caring for one another, celebrating our test scores, and laughing and dancing to fun music. Overall, today was a success.


Kyle C.


Tuesday                                                                                                        February 14, 2023

Today we started out with our usual pray-in, but then immediately we jumped into the Toastmasters setting. We were all prepared to give our initial speeches, but only ten of us were able to go due to time constraints. Our first topic was called the “Icebreaker.” This speech allows us to come together and talk about ourselves and not to judge others as well. We treat each other as brothers here and learn how to build character. We help lift each other up and not put our brothers down. Wise stewardship is one of the values I work on more than anything. We also hold each other accountable; we stand for the Ten Driving Values, and we all are living by them and make sure we practiced these values every day. After lunch we practiced our big business pitch idea in front of our class to help us get ready for our big event coming up. Then we got some computer time to type up our script, and our four boxes assignment. When we finished our assignment, we went back to the class room to practice our script again. We keep surprising each other with our business plans that we have. We have some really talented men in our class and it’s truly an honor to have a chance to learn from each other. We can’t lie, it’s a lot of information we have to learn in a week but we all keep coming together to help our brothers and keep our class growing strong. We’re the biggest class that PEP has had in a long time. Thank you PEP for the second chance.


Michael L.

Wednesday                                                                                                 February 15, 2023

We have had a long and eventful day. We learned an important lesson today. We learned that, regardless of any challenges that may come our way, we will choose to come together in unity, overcome it, and grow together no matter what it is. Everyday we are striving for greatness and accountability here so that we may be well suited for our release into society. And we stand on integrity and love, so that we pursue everything with the right motives. Learning to implement the new values and principles PEP has instilled in us, we stand together as a brotherhood and lift each other up in times of need. We are all grateful to be here in this program and truly blessed to receive every opportunity that arises from it. Each day that we grow and better ourselves is another day towards success. The book we read and were tested over today is called “Who Moved My Cheese.” The book taught us how to react to change and how we should not just wait but be proactive. It was a really good way to start off the program, due to the fact that life has many unexpected events come into play at crazy times and we should always try to be ready for change. Overall, we learned one of the most important aspects of this program today. This is a judgement free zone for us all, so that we may grow and learn better, together. Every day we will move closer to our main goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur.


Bradley A.


Thursday                                                                                                      February 16, 2023

This afternoon in PEP, we got to hear some of our brother share inspiring speeches about a situation that transpired earlier during the day. We all felt humility after hearing each one of them speak, and a sense of gratitude as well. One thing for sure, we are proud to be participants in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. After pray-in, we split into groups and prepared for the construction of the remainder of our vision boards. Some of the new participants didn’t have the opportunity as we all did before, so it was their turn and we were there to help them. This goes to show, no matter how old or “tough” a man is, he can still sit down and participate in arts and crafts. It is quite humorous watching us men, covered in tattoos, playing with construction paper and glitter. We came here for a change, so I guess it contributes to breaking our “prison mentality.” Afterward, the rest of us were able to work on our “Big Idea” pitches, some of us practicing them for our brothers, others going to enter them into the computer for our business plans. When we got to the computer lab, some of us had a hard time because it has been awhile since we have used a computer. But, luckily for us, we had some Servant-Leaders there to help. Shortly after, we prayed out and went back to the dorms. Today was a good day.


Brandyn S.

Friday                                                                                                            February 17, 2023

Every day here at PEP has been a great learning experience. Today, we were all given the opportunity to give a speech about our lives and how we can to be where we are. It honestly felt good being able to open up in Toastmaster and share some of the most important aspects of our lives. In doing this, we are all overcoming our fear of public speaking, which is super empowering. The top three things we have learned from PEP so far is brotherhood, building a business plan, and confidence in ourselves and our useful knowledge to apply to our daily lives. For brotherhood, all of us guys come together to work in unity and help each other become better men and understand that we are not alone. In building our business plan, we are learning the basic structure and information, so that we may start off with a solid foundation that will ultimately lead us to success. As for the knowledge we are learning and applying it in our daily lives, we are becoming more confident in ourselves and our endeavors, knowing that we can do anything we put our minds to. As each day passes by, we are moving closer and closer to our goals, learning new values and putting forth more effort than we ever have before. And we know now, if we don’t use the knowledge and values we learn here, we will not be successful in fulfilling these goals. So we must overcome any obstacles that enter our path along the way and strive to help each other be better no matter what.  It is our time to come together as men, put our old ways behind, and continue down our new paths of life and success.

Mercell T.




Everything comes at an expense; it is what you do with the experience that instills value.

-J. P. Larsen

The world knows little about its greatest heroes.          

-Dan Zadra

Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.   

-Benjamin Disraeli


Week 1

Monday                                                                                                         February 6, 2023

Everything we do, in PEP, is not just for the here and now but for our future. It doesn’t matter what we been through but where we are headed. There are brothers (men that have graduated from a previous PEP class) that are here to help us every step of the way. It feels good to know that we have support from these graduates. Today we each made our vision boards. This activity made us aware of who we are and who we want to be. Heart check is an activity we do weekly that involves copying a study guide handout. This must be done within a week or we will not be able to continue in this program. We all know that the copying working to helpful for us to know the material but the bigger lesson has to with integrity and practicing what we say we are going to do. Our character matters and we are practicing that every day in PEP. Finally, we watched a video that a daughter of a graduate made. In it she encouraged us to work hard to learn everything we can because our children need us to best the best version of ourselves. Many of us realized that our families are the biggest reason we are in this program. We all want to build a better future.

Carlos G.

Monday                                                                                                        February 6, 2023

We started off today by turning in our homework assignment. Our first lesson today was over “basic business” and we learned about economy as well as the four basic business structures. The class was in full participation and not only did we learn, but we also had fun. Some of us were given our fun names and had to step outside our comfort zone by dancing and presenting themselves with a funny “nick-name” that will be used for the duration of the program. The opportunities that we are grateful for today are having the chance to establish a relationship with our peers in this brotherhood and learning to be a better father, son, and friend. This is a great chance to work on our character while also learning to work together and effectively communicating. We performed a team building exercise today that helped with each of these things and moved us one step closer to our goals. One of our Ten Driving Values is “Fresh Start Outlook” which means that we are given a second chance regardless of our background. As brothers we will strive together to help build one another up to our full potential. Today was a learning experience for us all as we established relationships as well as working as a team to meet our goals.

Abraham C.


Tuesday                                                                                                       February 7, 2023

Our day in PEP was very productive. We discussed the power points for chapters 1 and 2 in our business book. A few of our classmates broke out of their shell and presented the class with their own personal business plan; their ideas were very impressive. During the second part of our class, we were introduced to what is called “Toastmasters.” We were taught how to talk, act, and react during speeches that we will be required to give during class. At first, our class was overwhelmed, but after the servant leaders (men who have graduated from PEP but have not been released yet) gave us a few tips to help us understand the process.

Johnny F.

Wednesday                                                                                                February 8, 2023

“PEP Summer 2023”- We can handle it.

Today is a new day, it will bring brand new blessings and brand new battles, but within every uncertainty there is hidden possibility. So, we don’t dread any challenge that lies ahead because we remember all the Spirit of God is our supply we’re steady under pressure and we’re ready for whatever when we rely on Jesus. Whatever comes our way we overcome with God in us, we are enough. He who called us is faithful, His strength in us is greater than any pain we feel or enemy we face. The promise of God is for all of us. Every plan He has made is guaranteed to happen. It will happen if we don’t stop short, if we don’t sell out, it will happen by faith. But faith doesn’t take the fear away, it teaches us to fight it. So, bring the battle, we’re ready now. We’ve got something for Goliath, we can handle it. Our regrets have been redeemed and our test have become our lessons. Our focus is fixed and our heart is expectant. We’re set, we’re not nervous about what’s next because our eyes are on the throne. We trust the One who is in complete control, the One who already knows how He’s going to work it according to His purpose. Even the worst situations are sure to turn into favor if we keep moving forward, keep moving toward Him. God is with us in this moment and whatever happens we can handle it. We know our help comes from above so if fear insists on knocking, we’ll meet it at the door. Life might give us bad news but we’ve still got a good report if we fall, if we fail, we’ll handle it. Grace will give us what we need to carry on. We can handle it. We have humbled ourselves under the Mighty Hand of God. He is in us. We are enough and when the time is right, he’ll lift us up. Until then, the lion may roar but we see his leash, so we keep moving forward. Because we’ve been down before and our hope knows how to bounce back from rock bottom. What we need, God’s got it.


Lance F.

Thursday                                                                                          February 9, 2023

Today we had our first real day of Toast Masters. We got to know a lot about each other by having to participate in our first public speaking assignment which was called the “Ice Breaker.” A lot of people struggle with public speaking and just speaking in front of people in general, so we were all extremely grateful to use this curriculum like this to help us become better speakers. One major goal in PEP is building a brotherhood and we believe we definitely got closer to achieving that goal by getting to know each other through our assignment. There were also a few challenges we all overcome today. We overcame the challenge of having courage by getting in front of the class to speak. We overcame humility when we made mistakes and humbled ourselves to learn there is a proper and professional way to communicate. Another challenge we overcame was honesty. We all shared our life stories with each other and were honest with telling the class things that happened in our lives that shaped us in becoming the men we are today.

Mohammed S. (a.k.a. “Aladdin”)


Friday                                                                                                February 10, 2023

Today was another experience. It was different and partially uncomfortable. We had another gathering on the topic of “Better Man,” which came with videos of a man giving us advice on how to be a better man, sharing some of his life’s personal experiences, and shedding light on some of his downfalls that led him to a realization that he needed to turn his life around. We all had a hard time expressing our feelings of gratitude , but one can tell it is there. All of us being able to come together as a group and get to know our brothers on a personal level is a great step in this new journey that we are on. Every day feels like a new level of completion, knowing that things are only going to get better in time. And though there are many things that we still have to work on in our lives, some issues are different than others, we should always be grateful for the time and resources we have that allow us to come together and do what we can to become better men. PEP will enable us to achieve greatness in all our endeavors, not just for the betterment of ourselves, but for our families as well.    

Fabian B.




Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.        

-William James

Some people strengthen our society just by being the kind of people they are.      

-John W. Gardner

There are those whose lives affect all others around them. Quietly touching on