Posts Tagged ‘Directors Challenge’

I Flip for PEPLots going on this week at the Cleveland Correctional Facility … including the launch of Class 20 of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program!

Today, we host our Internal Kickoff event. Most of the nearly 110 men who are entering PEP have been connected to us for months, including our three-month “Prep Class” called Principles of Effective Leadership. 

Today’s event is a celebration of their entrance to PEP with our staff and graduates from past classes. The event that is decidedly NOT like the typical prison experience, as the room is decorated for a party and the atmosphere is one of fun, fellowship and hope!

This is all in preparation for our official Kickoff on July 19, 2013. You can learn more about this event, and register to attend, here:

You can also see photos from the last class’ kickoff event here:

This week also marks the two-week countdown towards our fundraising campaign. As we announced a month ago, we received a challenge grant of $100,000 that will match EVERY DOLLAR that you donate between now and our July 19, 2013 kickoff.

Your gift of $100 will instantly become $200 through this campaign.

To learn how you can double your impact, please visit our campaign site:

Together, we can transform prison!

David Blanchard in prison

Executive volunteer David Blanchard entering prison through PEP

On July 19, 2013, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program will launch Class 20 with one of our largest classes to date!

This class also will mark an important milestone for PEP. Our 1,000th graduate will walk across stage with Class 20 on December 13, 2013!

Your support of PEP will make this possible. Donors like you provide 100% of the funds that we need to deliver our programs, and we could not operate without your gifts.

We have received a challenge grant that will match every dollar that we raise up to $100,000 … but only if we can raise the funds by July 19, 2013. You can turn every dollar that you donate into twice the impact thanks to the generosity of our Governing Board, who are providing this amazing opportunity to PEP.

You can track our progress on this challenge live here,
and also see the contributions from others.

Funds will ensure that these men receive all of the support that they need to earn not only a diploma from PEP, but a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business (see link here to learn more).

It takes around $1,500 to sponsor a participant’s quest for their college certificate. Half of those funds are being put up by our Board of Directors — but only if you help us to raise the other half.

Help us to beat this challenge by donating today!

See you in prison,

Jeremy Gregg
Chief Development Officer


Help us raise $40,000 to secure a $40,000 match!

PEP just graduated our largest class yet — over 70 men earned their diplomas from PEP on December 7, 2012.

For the first time, these men also earned Certificates in Entrepreneurship from the Baylor University‘s Hankamer School of Business. These are college certificates provided in recognition of all that these men accomplished through PEP’s 5+ month Business Plan Competition.

And we’re not slowing down… another 140 men have been recruited for Class 19 that begins in January, 2013!

In celebration of this growth, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program’s Board of Directors and Advisory Boards have collectively committed a challenge grant of $40,000 to PEP . . . meaning that every dollar that you pledge/donate between now and December 31, 2012 will be matched!

But we need your help to raise the $40,000 match.

To donate online today, please visit:

To donate by mail, please make your check payable to PEP and mail to:

Prison Entrepreneurship Program
Attn: Donation
P.O. Box 926274
Houston, TX 77292-6274

If you would like to make a pledge payable in 2013, please contact PEP’s Chief Development Officer, Jeremy Gregg, at or (214) 727 – 9829.

Thank you for supporting PEP!

You Beat the PEP Challenge!In late January, PEP confirmed that our graduates’ three-year “return to prison” rate is now less than 5%. By contrast, the official state average is 24.3%.

In response, the seven individuals on PEP’s Board of Directors combined their efforts to issue a challenge grant of $110,000 to PEP. The grant would match every gift above $100 that was made between February 15, 2012 through March 31, 2012.

The result?

In less than 45 days, PEP’s donors responded by donating $117,047 — over seven thousand dollars more than we needed!

Better still???

When they heard about the results, several PEP Board members increased their commitment so that the full amount could be matched — for a total impact of $234,094 on our mission!

Thanks to our low recidivism rate, we conservatively estimate that the State of Texas will save $5 for every dollar that you invest in PEP … allowing these funds to collectively deliver a $1,170,470 impact on our state!

Thank you to everyone who donated to our campaign. Together, we are changing lives and transforming communities!

PEP Director Challenge UpdateGreat news — we are nearly 90% of the way towards our goal for the PEP Directors’ Challenge!

We have until March 31 to raise the
final $15,000 that we need!

By donating at least $100 today, you can have every dollar of your gift matched by the individuals on our Board of Directors. What will be the impact of your gift?

  • Nearly 200 men will graduate from PEP this year
  • 100% will secure jobs within 90 days of release from prison
  • Texas will save $10 for every dollar that we invest in PEP

And thanks to the match, Texas will save $20 for every dollar that YOU invest in PEP! Donate today at — all gifts above $100 will count!

PS: We are also counting recurring gifts — so donating at least $8.33 per month will secure a $100 match!

PEP Challenge Thermometer - 3-1-2012Great news — we are now OVER HALFWAY  towards our goal of raising $110,000 to meet the “Directors’ Challenge Grant” for PEP!

(Read more about this challenge here)

Thanks to our amazing supporters, we have raised over $60,000 in commitments within the past two weeks. These gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the PEP Board of Directors.

It’s not too late to donate!

Our directors will match every commitment of at least $100 that is made before March 31, 2012. This includes recurring gifts whose annual value is at least $100 — for example, registering to donate $10/month will immediately secure a $120 match for PEP.

This challenge grant came in recognition of the ground-breaking results that we announced earlier this year:

  • PEP’s official return-to-prison rate among graduates dropped from “less than 10%” to “less than 5%”!
  • PEP’s employment rate stayed at a remarkable 100% within 90 days of release from prison!
  • In fact, on average, it only took 26 days for our graduates to find a job … from prison to paycheck in less than one month!

Entrepreneurship is also increasing among our recent graduates. Our graduates have now started over 100 businesses, at least one of which is grossing over $1 million in annual revenue! Several other graduate-owned businesses are generating sales in the mid-six figures . . . proving that ex-offenders make excellent entrepreneurs if provided the support, guidance and encouragement that they need to succeed.

Join the PEP revolution — donate at least $100 today at!