June isn’t even over, and it’s already been an amazing month at PEP …

On Friday, June 7, 2013, Class “Noble Nineteen” graduated from PEP’s Business Plan Competition. 89 men walked across the stage, including several who had already been released from prison but who secured a special exemption that allowed them to return so that they could graduate with their brothers. To read about the event, check out this blog by one of our board members.

Last week, we also graduated another class from our Men’s Life program. This is an optional program, which is also called Men’s Fraternity in other areas, uses a curriculum called “The Quest for Authentic Manhood.” PEP has adapted it as a voluntary addition to our in-prison program; the program is not required, though most of our participants do attend at least a few classes. However, the program has really begun to build energy inside the unit, and we are proud to announce that 65 men graduated last week — our largest group EVER!

To learn more about this program or who you can get involved, click here.

This week, we are preparing busily for the launch of Class 20 on July 19, 2013. We have “peer panels” inside the prison this week… when men who aspire to join PEP have their final interviews with past graduates. These interviews are conducted like job interviews, and allow our past graduates (who are still in prison) the chance to determine if these new candidates really have what it takes to succeed in the Business Plan Competition. All of these final applicants have been transferred to the Cleveland Correctional Center from around the state; to get here, they first had to complete 20+ page application, pass a 50-question entrance exam and get through the initial interview with our recruiter. We know that they have what it takes intellectually … but these final interviews are used to determine if they have the sincere level of commitment that will be required to succeed. By this point, most will make the cut. Some will have potential, but will be delayed for the January 2014 launch of Class 21 to allow them time to continue developing their character and commitment. But there will be a few who do not make the final cut, and who will not be chosen to enter PEP.

Finally, we are very pleased to announce that last week brought a very significant surprise gift to PEP … a grant of $50,000 from an anonymous foundation that wants to support of our efforts to fully occupy all 520 beds of the Cleveland Correctional Center. We are deeply grateful for this amazing opportunity to extend our mission, and look forward to sharing the impact of this grant with you over the coming year.

  1. Abdulaziz ismail says:
  2. carmen says:

    This was just a great opportunity for my son thank you for everything this is for everyone that volunteer there time teachers ect..

  3. Sharon Woolery scott@yahoo says:

    My own son has grown leaps and bounds into becoming the man that I always knew he could be. This program has made all the difference in his plans for his future and his family. I have every confidence that he will be a success in whatever endeavor he chooses to peruse. Thanks k you all, from the bottom of my heart, for all your commitment and sacrifice!

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