The following was written by incarcerated men who are participating in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program‘s Class 22 “Business Plan Competition.”


Week in Review: Week 3

Monday (July 21, 2014)

Michael P. opened Toastmasters with a special prayer for Bobby C. of Class 9, who was in a bad motorcycle accident. We each gave a four to six minute speech called the “Ice Breaker.” Some of the guys were naturals at public speaking, while others had probably never spoken in front of a group of people before. You could feel both excitement and nervousness as we each got up and delivered our speeches. The ice breaker was a good topic because a lot of guys shared their backgrounds, interests and ambitions which allowed us as a whole to learn something about each other.

Tuesday (July 22, 2014)

We are moving along in our efforts to learn more about what is necessary to put together a proper business plan. One of our servant-leaders took to the lectern to give a PowerPoint presentation about what we would be expected to have completed in three weeks for the next big event, the Venture Capital Panel (VCP). We will need a company name, jingle, strategy and practiced pitch. In order to do those tasks we will look to our peers for help and support.

HAnding out grades

A prior PEP class (handing out test grades)

Wednesday (July 23, 2014)

The wait is over. The tests have started, and for some it’s reckoning day. Basic Business, chapters one and two were the order of the day as Bert S. came to see what we had retained. A test and a pop quiz – “welcome to PEP!” was the battle cry from the lips of our servant-leaders, who not long ago occupied our seats. After the tests, Bert presented the class with our lesson and took questions from us. There was no lack of ability or motivation to participate. Servant-leaders graded our tests as we continued to learn today’s material.

Thursday (July 24, 2014)

Transcendent 22 met at noon and it was Pat M. who was conducting the class. We were given our family liaison forms to fill out with the three people that we want PEP to contact. We were to evaluate the relationships with our family members now and in the future so that insight could be gained into how to approach those family members with love. Additionally, we filled out forms for our children to receive Christmas gifts, which is a true blessing. Israel gave a great presentation on accountability which really resonated with those who are still skeptical. The brotherhood is going strong as we saw photos of PEP brothers doing life outside. Whether it was skydiving or lending a helping hand to a brother in need, the network is held together tightly with love and accountability.

Expressions

With the first few weeks on the books, I have watched as my PEP brothers have settled in to different roles everywhere. Servant-leaders have stepped up to fill the voids left by those gone home and to the Venus unit, but the greatest joy has been to watch as the PEP revolution starts to work its way inside even the worst of critics. Day by day we see the lights come on, the hope resurrected and the camaraderie formed as men start to unlock the gifts that God has placed inside of them. Class 22 is on pace to transcend all those before it, and it is up to every man to make sure nobody is left behind.

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