Friday Night Lights: A Note from PEP Graduate Kevin R.

Posted: October 4, 2013 by Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) in About PEP, Testimonials
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The following was written by Kevin R., a PEP graduate who is now living in Dallas. 

Hello everyone. My name is Kevin R., PEP class 6 graduate. I’ve been out since June of 2007 and the pay off’s for living a clean, honest life continue to amaze me. It hasn’t always been easy, and upon occasion, wreckage from the past shows up. And instead of taking the easy way out, I’ve faced the fear, owned the consequences and moved forward.

One of the hardest challenges I had to face was the loss of my son. Not that my son was dead, but that I was dead to him.

PEP Graduate Kevin R. and his son

PEP Graduate Kevin R. and his son

My son Kyle was 8 years old when I got arrested in May of 2005, he was 11 when I got released in June of 2007. I missed him so much while I was away and couldn’t wait to get re acquainted after I got out.

It took me a couple days to build up the nerve to call Kyle, but finally, I nervously dialed his number. Kyle answered the phone. I said,”hi Kyle, it’s Dad”. He hung up. I called back and his mom answered, she said,”don’t call here any more. You have caused enough pain in Kyle’s life. He has a new dad, raising him responsibly. We’ve moved on. We don’t want anything from you. Now leave us alone”! Then she hung up on me.

I was devastated. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Three days out and I wanted to quit already. But PEP equipped me with a new set of tools. One of the most important things that I learned, which I will never forget, is to do the next right thing for the right reason without expectation.  It was time to take what I learned and apply myself. I was committed to this transformation.

Within 1 week of my release I had a full time job. Within a couple months I went to the Attorney Generals Office and started paying child support including arrears. I knew that the way back into my sons life was going to be through responsibility. But regardless of outcomes it was time to grow up.

Within a year I bought a car and relocated to the Dallas area to be closer to  Kyle. After being in Dallas for a couple weeks my son agreed to meet with me for lunch. My hard work and dedication was paying off.

Since that first lunch in 2008 until now there have been many milestones and memorable moments. Sleep overs, summer vacations, concerts, prom send offs and skiing in Santa Fe, just to name a few. But I think this past Friday night tops them all for me. Kyle was nominated for homecoming king. Part of being on the homecoming  court is to be escorted on to the field by your parents. The announcer introduced Kyle and as his friends, family, and peers cheered, the announcer said “escorted by his father Kevin Rainey”. As a lump swelled up in my throat I struggled to fight back the tears. It was indeed one of my proudest moments ever. Father and son, Friday night on the football field. What an amazing event.

One thing I forgot to mention… It was Kyle’s mother who asked me to escort him onto the field. WOW!!

Now that’s transformation.

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Read similar testimonials from other graduates here.

  1. Congrats for “Doing the next right thing, Kevin!” This is a beautiful story and I believe you’ll have many more to tell because of you dedication to yourself and your family. Humility has such amazing rewards. Thanks for sharing. -Annie L , FL

  2. That is just awesome 🙂 I’m going to spread this story around, hope you don’t mind.

  3. Sherri says:

    Beautiful story! Bravo, and what a fine example for your son about what it means to be a father — not perfection, but continuing forward to do your best even after you’ve screwed up!

  4. Sherry Pfaffenberg says:

    I wanted to add that as Kevin’s mother, there is no more joy than watching a young man who “was once lost but is now is found,” share his successes on the PEP blog! Our whole family continues to support the men going through the program. What better way to see the fruits of your financial giving and volunteering!!!

  5. Brian says:

    It’s great to see you work so hard to turn your life around and get back into your son’s life. As a soon to be father, I can imagine how hard it must have been to those first few months and years. We don’t hear enough of these types of stories.

  6. […] Friday Night Lights: A Note from PEP Graduate Kevin R. […]

  7. […] learn more about Sherry’s son Kevin, read his guest blog here or watch his video […]

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