Posts Tagged ‘texas prison’

PEP Selling with Purpose

Executives offering one-on-one advice to our participants during PEP “Selling with Purpose” event

It’s another big week in prison as Class 19 prepares for the “Selling with Purpose” event on Friday, April 19 and the “Business Plan Workshop” event on Saturday, April 20. These back-to-back events provide our participants with valuable one-on-one time with some of the strongest executives and entrepreneurs in our network as well as the fresh perspectives of dozens of MBA students who are planning to attend these events.

(Learn more about these two events here)

Building on last week’s “Integrity Selling” program, this week’s in-prison initiatives include two special presentations:

  • PEP’s Board Chairman, Mike Humphrey, will present the Harvard MBA Case on “International Fighting League
  • PEP Volunteer Rory Saleh will be lead a half-day session on sales and marketing

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The guys also have quite a bit going on this week through their regular programming:

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We are also pleased to report that, while it is an optional program that is not required for graduation, we have around 90 participants who continue to participate in our twice-weekly Men’s Life program.

While all of this is going on, our staff and past graduates continue our work with prospective members of Class 20 (which kicks off in July).

Thank you for continuing to support our efforts!

PEP's Pat McGee Wins the Texas Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Pat winning his award

Here is the official press release for the previous post (which included photos of Pat with the award). See it here.

McGee receives TDCJ volunteer award

(AUSTIN) – Houston resident Patrick McGee received the Governor’s 2013 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award for Most Hours Served in recognition of his dedication to helping offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

The award was presented today by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. McGee is one of 20 recipients from across Texas recognized for their efforts to help state offenders and those who are on parole or probation.

“Each of this year’s award recipients personify a selfless dedication to helping offenders succeed both while incarcerated, and once they’re released,” said Livingston.

McGee, once a participant of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) when he himself was incarcerated, is now employed by the program offered at the Cleveland Correctional Center. Founded in May 2004, PEP is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization based in Houston. The program seeks to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring. PEP engages the nation’s top business and academic talent in this innovative solution by creating high-impact service opportunities. The program constructively redirects inmates’ talents by equipping them with values-based entrepreneurial training—enabling them to productively re-enter society.

McGee has been a TDCJ volunteer since 2011. He also attends college and is expected to receive his Master’s Degree in December of 2013. Those who work with him say McGee stands apart as someone who is always looking to assist the needs of others. During 2012, Mr. McGee dedicated 2,162 hours of volunteer service to the TDCJ.

McGee is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims. Annually, approximately 18,000 volunteers make 163,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating over 526,000 hours of service.

Baylor University Certificate in Entrepreneurship

William G. was among the first PEP graduates to earn his Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business

Graduates from the Prison Entrepreneurship Program can now earn their Certificates in Entrepreneurship from Baylor University‘s Hankamer School of Business through a new partnership between PEP and the university. See the official press release here.

“We offer a ‘mini MBA’ program within the Texas prison system that transforms inmates into entrepreneurs,” said Bert Smith, CEO of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Through the program, the inmates also develop complete business plans for a real venture that they can pursue after release.

During PEP’s Business Plan Competition at the Cleveland Correctional Center north of Houston, these inmates will pitch their business plans over 120 times — including to groups of more than 50 “free world” executives, entrepreneurs and MBA students who attend PEP’s in-prison eventsLearn more in this recent article in The New York Times.

Founded in 2004, PEP is a privately-funded nonprofit that engages executives, entrepreneurs and MBA students as volunteers in a values-based entrepreneurship boot camp that is offered within the Texas prison system. Each year, more than 5,000 inmates apply to be a part of PEP – but only the top 5 percent are selected for this elite program.

“Our graduates invest over 1,000 hours of work into our six-month Business Plan Competition class, which incorporates a college-level curriculum supplemented by Harvard MBA cases, the AP Writing Stylebook, Toastmasters, an employment workshop and a financial literacy course,” Smith said. “In addition, we focus at least half of our time on character assessment and development, built around PEP’s Ten Driving Values.”

“What impresses me the most is how these men not only complete this very rigorous program within a prison, but they do so while completing a full business plan for a real venture that they can launch after release from prison,” said Dr. Gary Carini, associate dean of the Graduate Program in Management & Entrepreneurship at the Baylor University Hankamer School of Business, and a member of the governing board for PEP.

PEP participants pitch their plans before panels of executive judges in a “Shark Tank” format at PEP’s monthly events. The presentations prepare the men for making their case in the free world – including to potential employers once they are released.

“I had been arrested four times before my 21st birthday,” said Harvey M., who graduated from PEP’s Class 10. Harvey is now rolling his first food truck in Houston. “Most of the world had written me off – but not PEP. They gave me the tools that I needed to succeed and even helped me to open my own business.”

Thanks to the preparation that they receive while in PEP, 100 percent of PEP’s graduates find a job within 90 days of release from prison. More than 120 of them have started their own businesses, including at least two that are now grossing more than $1 million in annual sales. And most impressively, the organization boasts some of the lowest recidivism rates in the country: PEP’s three-year recidivism rate has been as low as <5 percent, compared to the national average of nearly 50 percent.

“After reviewing the caliber of PEP’s curriculum and the quality of their results, Baylor University has agreed to award a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Hankamer School of Business to every graduate from PEP,” stated Carini.

The partnership began in December 2012, when 70 PEP graduates earned their certificates by completing the PEP Business Plan Competition class and graduating in a full cap-and-gown ceremony attended by their friends, family and PEP executive volunteers.

ABOUT PRISON ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM
Established in 2004, Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are servant leaders on a mission to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education, and mentoring. Our groundbreaking results include a return-to-prison rate of less than 5%, employment rate of 100% within 90 days, and the successful launch of more than 100 businesses. www.PEP.org

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit www.baylor.edu/business and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Baylor_Business.

PEP in The New York Times

Image c/o Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

We have great news. Your support of PEP is continuing to build a movement to transform the way that we look at prisons.

The New York Times just ran the following story on The Prison Entrepreneurship Program:

Starting New Businesses Behind Bars Creates an Incentive for Texas Inmates

CLEVELAND — As Christopher Holbert danced down the aisle of a Cleveland Correctional Center classroom, dozens of other prisoners in matching dark blue uniforms flanked him, clapping and cheering. When he reached the front of the classroom, he spoke for 10 minutes on his business plan for Adrenaline Indoor Paintball, an idea he worked on over the last year.

With three investors lined up, he plans to create the company when he returns to the Dallas area. But first he has to finish his three-year sentence for arson.

“I used to be complacent,” Mr. Holbert said. “Without prison, I would have never known how to start my own business.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

To learn more about how you can support our movement, please visit www.PEP.org.

National financial expert Ryan Mack, author of Living in the Village and President of Optimum Capital Management, recently visited the Prison Entrepreneurship Program in Houston, Texas. After both teaching a three-hour class in prison and meeting some of the program’s released graduates in the “free world,” Mr. Mack offered this endorsement of PEP.

Half the Recidivism. Double your Impact.

To celebrate the lowest return-to-prison rate in our history, our Board of Directors is doubling all gifts over $100 made before March 31st … up to $110,000!

Last year, PEP estimated that less than 10% of our graduates returned to prison within three years of release. This year, we are proud to announce that the rate of recidivism has now dropped to below 5% thanks to your generous contributions of time and money.

You support a program that WORKS.

100% of the graduates in our post-release program are employed within 90 days of release, and they’ve started over 100 businesses!

Your continued investments will allow us to fully occupy the prison in Cleveland by the end of 2013. Together, we will transform hundreds more lives each year. Please click here to donate at least $100 before March 31, 2012 and make your gift count twice.

This includes recurring donations – so your commitment of only $25 per month will immediately secure a $300 match!

Double your donation. Double your impact.

Click here to give a gift.