Posts Tagged ‘servant leaders’

Class 20 graduate Mark L., a.k.a. "Sweet Homey the Clown"!

Class 20 graduate Mark L., a.k.a. “Sweet Homey the Clown”!

We have a very special “welcome home” post today!

Mark L. has been in prison since 10/1/1994 … and was released today. 20 years, 1 month, 13 days later.

This Class 20 graduate was actually granted parole earlier, but he **declined** it and opted to stay in prison. Why?

Because Mark had been chosen as one of 10 servant leaders (prior PEP graduates) to transfer to a new prison to help us launch a new program near Dallas, Texas. Mark “had a job to do and wanted to see it through to the end.” Read more about this here; Mark is also pictured below.

Thanks to Mark’s servant leadership, around 40 other inmates recently completed this new program in PEP. And today … after 7,349 days behind bars … Mark is free at last.

Welcome home, “Sweet Homey the Clown”!

PEP Graduate Servant Leaders at Estes Unit

Pictured with the other servant leaders who followed this call to open a new program, Mark L. is on the front row, bottom right,


Read similar testimonials from other graduates here.

PEP Graduate Servant Leaders at Estes Unit
These ten men in white graduated from PEP’s Business Plan Competition at the Cleveland Correctional Center. When we announced that PEP was expanding to a second prison in North Texas, they courageously offered to transfer to the new unit to begin building PEP’s culture of life transformation.These Servant Leaders went from being among 300+ PEP guys on a 520-man unit to being the only 10 PEP guys on a 1,040-man unit.

And yet, with their help, we are rapidly spreading our impact across the prison. We already have 40+ other inmates recruited into PEP’s new Leadership Academy … and we anticipate many more over the coming years.

Please join us in thanking these amazing Servant Leaders!

NOTE: Standing behind them is Gami Jasso, our sole staff member at the new unit. Also… this photo was taken by Israel Thompson, who later blogged about the experience here.


David R, Class 18 Graduate

David R, Class 18 Graduate

One of PEP’s Ten Driving Values is “Servant Leadership Mentality.”

This idea is broadly discussed in all sorts of arenas … from prisons to corporate boardrooms. But the concept can be hard to understand without models. Thankfully, during their time in PEP, our participants meet hundreds of servant leaders who model this for them by attending PEP’s monthly in-prison events.

But this is not just about our volunteers.

In fact, while we love and appreciate our volunteers, the daily operations of our program simply could not function without the tremendous contributions of the incarcerated men who serve as our Servant Leaders. These are past graduates of PEP who return to our program every day to help with classes, to serve as peer educators, to support our events and to ensure that PEP can serve nearly 300 incarcerated men while having only a single staff member working in the prison each day.

Servant leadership is not just about giving a day of service, or living humbly; it is about radically transforming your core being so that everything that you do is in the service of others. This is a core identity that remains with our graduates after they are released.

Here is a great example of that. Last night, one of our Class 18 graduates, David R, posted the following note in his community:

If you or anyone you know in Amarillo have been incarcerated and have had trouble finding a job, developing a resume or gaining a better understanding of how to change their cognitive behavior, please message me with serious prospects only. I will only help those who want to help themselves. I have a certificate of Entrepreneurship from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Also, I have presented a business plan to multiple business executives. As well as completing Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. I want to help anyone I can with the skills have learned through PEP.”

Now THIS is what you call ‪Servant Leadership‬, people. David only returned to his home in Amarillo, where he is now raising his amazing son. He has a full-time job and plenty of things on his plate … but here he is, offering to help complete strangers to transform their lives.

We are very proud to call David our friend and PEP brother. With your continued support, we will be able to help many more men follow his path! Please support us at