At the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, we are servant leaders on a mission to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring.
PEP is dedicated to delivering the nation’s best outcomes in the prison re-entry field. We provide unparalleled resources and real-world values-based business skills to inmates so that once they are back in society they have the tools, skills and support structure to pursue healthy, fulfilling and productive lives.
PEP clients are immersed in a proven program comprised of one-on-one training with executive volunteers, business plan mentoring with seasoned professionals and a highly competitive business plan competition.
PEP’s mentoring along with its classroom curriculum has been described by many as a mini-MBA for the depth of business information it delivers and the rigorous pace the students experience. PEP is not an easy program, and it isn’t for everyone. To be successful, students must be willing to learn new skills, think hard, work hard and be open to transformation. PEP supports its alumni far past graduation.
PEP is more than building business skills and acumen. It is designed to bring positive, transformative changes to the students, their families and communities.
PEP has an exceptional record for delivering real results to both our donors and our clients. A report by Baylor University calculated that every dollar donated to PEP yields a 340% ROI due to avoided incarceration, increased child support payments and reduced reliance on government assistance.
Another measurement of PEP’s effectiveness is in reducing recidivism. Per the Baylor University report, PEP outperformed all nine of the other major prison rehabilitation programs in Texas. In some cases, PEP delivered a 70-80% improvement over other models.
But it was not until I received a postcard to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) that I truly felt in my heart that the chance I had been praying for all this time was within my grasp. I was transferred to the Cleveland Correctional Center and that is when the truth in transformation became my living reality. PEP provided me with the tools of 10 Driving Values, effective leadership skills and character assessments to apply and stand on in my quest for change.
Today, closing in on one year after being released from prison, and thanks to PEP’s re-entry team, I am gainfully employed. I am thankful PEP chose me and grateful to those who make this life change possible for men like me. And I would guess that if you are reading this, you are one of those people. So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.”
For me, PEP is a life saver. I learned how much I was truly hurting myself and everyone around me by finding excuses to indulge in my weaknesses. I learned that I can be a part of a group without having to be just like everyone in it. I found out that fitting in does not mean conforming, it means contributing. Most importantly, I learned how to live with the fact that I am flawed. I have made mistakes in the past and I will make more in the future, but those mistakes do not define me; how I recover from them does.
Yes, PEP guys get out and get jobs and most stay out of prison. These things are not what make PEP special, though. The phenomenon that makes PEP special is the community and sense of brotherhood fostered from the moment we begin throughout our involvement with the brothers. We are families becoming family with other families. If we look anywhere else in America – in fact, everywhere else in America – this simple connection with others and within a community is missing. Today, I am among people who enjoy encouraging one another. I am among men and families who help and love each other. This is what PEP is all about.
I am thankful for PEP! See, the PEP experience not only benefited me but also those around me. For once my mother is proud of me. My old friends see that I changed and want to embark on their own journey of change. The old crazy, fighting, drug abusing Russell is gone and the new Russell whose character is built upon the foundation of PEP’s Ten Driving Values is here to stay.
I continue to stay in contact with many of my PEP family because I love them and because they keep me grounded without ever even having to say a word. Just seeing pictures of them brings back the thoughts of how we all banded together to build one another up so that we would never fall again. I will know these people for the rest of my life, and I am truly thankful for that. I am a success because I am a small part of something much greater than myself. I am part of a revolution.
Hello, everyone. My name is Kevin R., PEP class 6 graduate. I’ve been out since June of 2007 and the payoffs for living a clean, honest life continue to amaze me. It hasn’t always been easy, and upon occasion, wreckage from the past shows up. But instead of taking the easy way out, I’ve faced the fear, owned the consequences and moved forward.
Since my release and reentry, PEP is still playing a similar role in my life. I am actually now working for the very program that God used to work on me. It’s still a tool in God’s hand, and He is still using it to make me into the man He created and called me to be. I’m now also a husband, father, and strong pillar in the city, community, and church. I’m almost tempted to say I’m a success,
Because of PEP and the Ten Driving Values, I am a new man. As a teenager and young man, I was a very lost individual. How I became the person I am today is largely due to the program and the tools given to me while incarcerated, to apply to my life on the inside and once released. I started off as a troublesome person with no respect and values, but now I have a plan, and I have respect for society and others.
At the age of 40, I acquired my first credit card and I was able to finance a vehicle through my bank. I was able to do these things because of lessons I learned in PEP. They taught me how to establish credit, and as a result of that training, my credit score has gone up 150 points!
I am also a legitimate business man today. I have obtained my DBA and I now have a business account. My plan is to be open for business by the end of 2015.
We rely on the generosity of individual and corporate donors to help deliver our program to inmates. In 2015 PEP expanded into new prisons and we will continue to grow in 2016.
Join us so that together we can reduce recidivism, bring hope to families, rebuild communities, and give a second chance to those willing to embrace transformation, responsibility, and love.