The following letter was written by Donny D., a graduate of PEP.
I was released early so I was not able to complete the Business Plan Competition phase of PEP inside of prison with the rest of Class 17. But I am thankful that I was able to complete the first phase, called Effective Leadership, which was focused around character development.
The lessons that I learned in PEP were immediately put to the test after I was released from prison.
I moved into the PEP transitional house in Houston upon release, but only stayed for a short time. I thought I had it together, so I moved out and got my own place. I did great for a while but I became overwhelmed with life quickly. I took on a lot of responsibility, working two jobs and trying to take care of my family on my own. I began to stumble. I lost my jobs and my home. The last thing I wanted to do was ask anyone for help. My pride wouldn’t let me.
My closest friend is a PEP brother from my graduating class. I confided in him and he urged me to reach out to PEP. I did, with great reluctance of course, and PEP welcomed me back with open arms. They did not condemn me for my mistakes and rash decisions– there was only love and acceptance. It was as if I had never left!
Now, I am attending college, studying for an associate’s degree in machining technology. I have a great career path with a full-time position in my field. I’m confident with my head held high, more involved with the program and happy that I made a conscious decision to get back on track.
I learned through my struggle what PEP really is. It’s more than a program; it’s a brotherhood, a family. It has made a difference in my life. I don’t know where I would be without it.
Read similar testimonials from other graduates here.