Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

As mentioned in this blog from a few weeks ago, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and his wife Sandy Cornyn visited the Prison Entrepreneurship Program‘s Houston office to learn how PEP has delivered some of the nation’s best results in prison rehabilitation.

“I was very impressed by the work PEP is doing to provide hope and a second chance to individuals willing to do the hard work to make a positive change in their lives. By promoting personal responsibility and equipping individuals with the education and tools necessary to succeed, PEP is reforming lives and strengthening Texas communities,” said United States Senator John Cornyn after the event.

Below are some more photos from the event, which included a press conference during which the Senator described some legislation that he has drafted in response to an increasing awareness of the impact of programs like PEP.

Together, we are rethinking prison!

 

One of our past graduates, Robert R. from Class 14, recently sent us this blog that he wrote about PEP. Please take a moment to read his thoughts on our life-changing program!

ENTREPRENEURS IN THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS…LITERALLY

ENTREPRENEURS IN THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS…LITERALLY

Classy AwardsAs noted in the press release below from the United Nations Foundation, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program has been nominated as a finalist for The CLASSY Awards, an event that recognizes “the Greatest Champions of Social Progress.”

We are honored that PEP will be represented on the night of the award ceremony by one of our amazing graduates … Pat McGee, who recently won the Leonard Davis Service Award for his work as PEP’s manager of in-prison initiatives. You can also see Pat tell his story on video here.



Announcing the Top Nominees for the 5th Annual CLASSY Awards

Winners Announced at Red Carpet Ceremony on May 3rd

 

April 16, 2014 – San Diego, CA – The CLASSY Awards, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, is proud to announce the Top Nominees for the 5th Annual CLASSY Awards. The 8 Winners will be announced onstage at the CLASSY Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 3rd in San Diego, California.

“We are excited to play a part in recognizing some of the most significant achievements in the social sector worldwide,” said Pat Walsh, co-founder of the CLASSY Awards. “These organizations are driving significant progress against our most challenging social issues, and we are honored to share their success.”

The CLASSY Awards is the largest social impact awards ceremony in the country, celebrating the greatest champions of social progress. More than 3,600 organizations worldwide were evaluated as part of the comprehensive, yearlong discovery process. The Awards Leadership Council, a 100-person board comprised of top leaders and cause experts from around the world, has reviewed the Top Nominees to determine the Winners. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the most prestigious honors in the social sector.

“We believe that everyone has a role to play in building a better world for all people,” said Elizabeth Gore, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the UN Foundation. “The CLASSY Awards brings together the best leaders in the social sector. The collective work of these organizations helps advance the United Nations’ humanitarian goals, and we are proud to help honor these nominees.”

This year’s Top Nominees include:

ACTIVE DUTY & VETERAN SERVICES

  • Blue Star Families, Inc.
  • Camp Better America
  • Easter Seals Dixon Center
  • Fisher House Foundation
  • Give an Hour
  • Justice for Vets
  • Soldier On, Inc.
  • The Mission Continues
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
  • VeteransPlus

ANIMAL & WILDLIFE WELFARE

  • Best Friends Animal Society
  • Halifax Humane Society
  • People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
  • The Wild Animal Sanctuary
  • World Vets

DISASTER RELIEF & PUBLIC SAFETY

  • International Medical Corps
  • Liter of Light USA
  • Medair
  • NYCMedics
  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

EDUCATION ADVANCEMENT

  • Achieving the Dream
  • Blue Engine
  • buildOn
  • DC Action for Children
  • Diplomas Now
  • Friends of the Children
  • Higher Achievement
  • Moneythink
  • Project Lead The Way, Inc.
  • Right To Play
  • Room to Read
  • Team4Tech
  • The After-School Corporation
  • Turnaround for Children, Inc.
  • UClass

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • Acterra
  • Amazon Watch
  • American Rivers
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Climate Action Reserve
  • Conservation International Foundation
  • Ecotrust
  • Endangered Species International
  • Health in Harmony
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
  • Sustainable Harvest International
  • The Paradigm Project
  • The Xerces Society
  • World Wildlife Fund, Inc.

HEALTH SERVICES

  • A Home Within
  • APOPO Hero Rats
  • Blood:Water Mission
  • Cancer Research Institute
  • DKT International
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego
  • Global Birthing Home Foundation
  • Hearing Health Foundation
  • Himalayan Cataract Project
  • Invest in Kids
  • Jacaranda Health
  • Jhpiego
  • Lazarex Cancer Foundation
  • Marley’s Mission
  • Network Against Malaria
  • Noah’s Light Foundation
  • Solar Cookers International
  • St. Baldrick’s Foundation
  • The Creative Center at University Settlement
  • The Translational Genomics Research Institute
  • Unite for Sight
  • Unitio, Inc.
  • Verbal Applications, Inc.

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Centro De Los Derechoes Del Migrante, Inc.
  • Darkness to Light
  • Defy Ventures, Inc.
  • Free the Slaves
  • Games for Change
  • Good World Solutions
  • Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  • Immigration Equality
  • Just Like My Child Foundation
  • Justice for Families
  • Kids in Need of Defense
  • Made in a Free World
  • One Colorado Education Fund
  • PCI Global (Project Concern International)
  • Polaris Project
  • Prevent Child Abuse America
  • Prison Entrepreneurship Program
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
  • Sanlaap North America
  • Scouts for Equality
  • Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
  • Truckers Against Trafficking
  • WITNESS

 POVERTY & HUNGER RELIEF

  • Action Against Hunger
  • Adventure Project
  • BRAC
  • City Harvest
  • Community Solutions
  • Convoy of Hope
  • Design Impact
  • FINCA International
  • Interise
  • Medical Teams International
  • MEND
  • Mercy Housing
  • Namati
  • Oxfam America
  • Plant With Purpose
  • Project Healthy Children
  • Pure Water for the World
  • Root Capital
  • TechnoServe
  • Ubuntu Education Fund
  • Vittana Foundation
  • Water Missions International
  • WaterAid
  • Wholesome Wave

More information about the CLASSY Awards Top Nominees can be found at: http://www.classyawards.org/classy-awards/nominees or email tloubier@stayclassy.org.

Tweet this: Join the top social innovators & @classyawards Nominees driving global #socialprogress at the #CLASSY14 weekend! http://ow.ly/vRIEy

###

About the CLASSY Awards

The CLASSY Awards, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, is the largest social impact awards ceremony of its kind, celebrating the greatest champions of social progress. The yearlong initiative identifies and evaluates organizations in eight major cause categories, including Active Duty & Veteran Services, Animal & Wildlife Welfare, Education Advancement, Environmental Protection, Health Services, Human Rights & Social Justice, Poverty & Hunger Relief, Disaster Relief & Public Safety. The winners are determined by the CLASSY Awards Leadership Council, an honorary board of leaders and experts whose unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector. For more information, visit www.classyawards.org.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

Cedric H (Moved by Love) with U.S. Senator John Cornyn

Cedric H (Moved by Love) with U.S. Senator John Cornyn

Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and his wife Sandy Cornyn visited the Prison Entrepreneurship Program‘s Houston office to learn how PEP has delivered some of the nation’s best results in prison rehabilitation. After the meeting, the Senator stated:

“I was very impressed by the work PEP is doing to provide hope and a second chance to individuals willing to do the hard work to make a positive change in their lives. By promoting personal responsibility and equipping individuals with the education and tools necessary to succeed, PEP is reforming lives and strengthening Texas communities,” said United States Senator John Cornyn. He further stated that he plans to take what he learned from PEP back to Washington, D.C.

See photo gallery below.

The meeting included a tour of our offices as well as a roundtable discussion with PEP’s leadership team, representatives from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Rockwell Fund and RKI (one of the largest employers of PEP’s graduates).

One of the highlights of the meeting was introducing the Senator to several of our graduates who are now running their own businesses. This included Cedric H., founder of Moved by Loved, who is pictured below along with a fellow PEP graduate who is now working for Cedric.

Several reporters were present for the event, which was followed by a press conference during which Sen. Cornyn discussed “The Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act” (which he has sponsored along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)). The legislation would address multiple aspects of prison reform, including requiring the Bureau of Prisons to offer programs like PEP to eligible inmates nationwide.

You can read more about this visit via Houston Public Media’s article here:
http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/news/cornyn-touts-houstonbased-prison-program-promotes-reform-bill/

You can also listen to this story here:

Below is the second TED talk given on PEP, from the 2013 TEDxUTA event “Moving Forward.” (You can see our first talk here)

In 2013, PEP’s Chief Development Officer Jeremy Gregg was invited to speak at the Arlington chapter of the international TED conference (TEDxUTA), through the University of Texas at Arlington. His 16-minute talk, “Moving Forward: Rethinking Prison,” is posted below.

Please share this idea worth spreading on FacebookLinkedInTwitter… everywhere and anywhere.Together, we can transform prisons into platforms of opportunity!

(If that code is not working, you can see it here.)

Check out the following article, published today in Texas Monthly:
http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/when-prisoners-read-dostoevsky%E2%80%99s-crime-and-punishment-it%E2%80%99s-pretty-powerful

When Prisoners Read Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, It’s Pretty Powerful

THE DEEPER POLITICS OF THE NOVEL STILL RESONATE—ESPECIALLY WITH INMATES—NEARLY 150 YEARS SINCE IT WAS PUBLISHED.

Inmates at the Cleveland Correctional Center listen to a presentation as part of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

“It’s a story about the difference between the head and the heart,” says Brian Troy. The story is Crime and Punishment by the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, and though it was a difficult read for Troy, the themes were familiar to him. Along with a dozen other men wearing dark blue scrubs, Troy is sitting in a large concrete classroom at the Cleveland Correctional Center in rural East Texas, about an hour north of Houston. … Read the rest of the story here.

TawkersPEP’s Chief Development Officer, Jeremy Gregg, will join PEP National Advisory Board member Jeff Smith in a “Tawk” … a live online chat that you can watch for free and add comments along the way.

“We’ll discuss the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, a 10 year-old non-profit based in Houston that has reduced recidivism rates among its graduates 90% below national averages – and produced million-dollar business in the process!”

Login here to learn more:
http://tawkers.com/tawk/ff808081-42ed1044-0142-f7cfc90d-2348.html

 

forbes From Cellblock To Startup: Teaching Inmates How To Be Entrepreneurs

Forbes: “From Cellblock To Startup: Teaching Inmates How To Be Entrepreneurs”

A wonderful story about the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and two of our graduates was just published in Forbes. Check it out here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/darden/2013/10/10/from-cellblock-to-startup-teaching-inmates-how-to-be-entrepreneurs/

Please share this story with your network so that others can see the impact that we are making through PEP.

Thank you!

UPDATE: This story was also picked up by the Chicago Tribune here (login required).

A few months ago, PEP was visited by Arte (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne), a Franco-German TV network that promotes programming in the areas of culture and the arts. They were intrigued by the public-private partnership that PEP has built with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), and they created this mini-documentary for their 60 Minutes-style news magazine.

We are grateful that they agreed to share this version below, with audio in English. You can view the original in French here.

The video features footage both inside and outside the prison, including with a church group that provided a meal to the men living in one of our Houston-area transition homes.

Enjoy!

steve harvey show pep JPG

PEP Graduate Clarence Campbell, PEP Volunteer Cheri Garcia and Steve Harvey

Later today, PEP graduate Clarence “The Shine King of Texas” Campbell will be interviewed by Steve Harvey on The Steve Harvey Show along with PEP volunteer Cheri Chafin Garcia, the inventor of Luminous Envy. Cheri will share an amazing story that links her to PEP’s mission in a profound way.

You can find stations/air times here:
http://steveharveytv.com/watch/

DALLAS
KXAS – 2:00P

KXAS – 3:00A


HOUSTON
KRIV – 11:00A

KTXH – 3:00P