Robert is the youngest valedictorian in the history of PEP. Robert graduated from Memorial HS in Houston and based on his academic success was able to enroll as a sophomore at A&M. He went there to study chemical engineering, and quickly joined a fraternity and began drinking heavily. As his addiction grew he lost various privileges and campus jobs, and he began to get more involved in selling drugs as well. After a particular deal went bad, Robert found himself in a very difficult legal predicament, and he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Robert joined PEP from another unit and was transferred first to Estes and then to Cleveland to participate in PEP. While he knew little about PEP at first, he had heard about it from someone in the faith based dorm that he was living in, and decided to apply. He enjoyed it immediately, and served as a Men’s Life leader during the Leadership Academy phase. He continued to work hard during the Business Plan phase, and ultimately did well enough to become the valedictorian of Class 23 Stellar.
In addition to this honor, Robert so embodied all ten driving values that he was elected “Mr. PEP” by his classmates. He said that the Fresh Start Outlook meant that he could have his dignity restored, and Accountability was the most challenging and most difficult value to take on.
He said that he found the entire program to be “the thing” that turned his prison time and experience into a great part of his maturation. Robert also said that as he entered prison his future looked very bleak, and his dreams disappeared. PEP has given him the positive attitude and desire and drive to fight for his dreams again. He hopes to re-enter A & M and graduate with his degree in chemical engineering a few years later than expected. Robert noted, “No man is an island, and with this brotherhood I cannot fail. I am the only person who stands in the way of my dreams, and knowing myself is the first step in overcoming this obstacle.”