A Trip to Prison! (And Back!)

A man is standing talking to a group of men in jail.

Venus, TX — DBU’s Center for Business as Mission and over 30 entrepreneurship, criminal justice, and sociology students recently attended a business Think Tank Event at Sanders Estes Unit Prison. As part of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), students had the opportunity to sit one-on-one with inmates, listen to their ideas for starting businesses after their release from prison, and provide feedback.

This was one of the largest groups of Executive Volunteers that PEP has received.

Throughout the day, each student heard twelve, ten-minute business pitches. Ideas ranged from phone apps to food services to commercial services. The innovation and creativity demonstrated by the inmates left a mark on our students.

Entrepreneurship student Bailey Sleutel remarked, “These men are incredibly intelligent and developing knowledge and skills in a place they never thought possible. It reminded me that the Lord works in extraordinary ways, like prompting business ideas even from within a jail cell.”

Many students came to realize they had learned more than they had taught. “The drive that the men still have after being in prison for five, ten, maybe fifteen years to make something out of their lives and have dreams for a business is incredible,” remarked criminal justice major Matt Fugitt. “To be able to share ideas and educate them as well as be educated by them was a unique opportunity. God is doing great works through those men and the PEP ministry.”

DBU’s Center for Business as Mission educates and equips current and future business leaders to restore lives through effective engagement in the marketplaces of the world by integrating God’s biblical call to mission with His vocational call to business.

One aspect of this endeavor is in DBU’s partnership with PEP, recognized as DBU’s official Community Partner of the Year in 2018.

PEP exists “To expand our community of accountability and encouragement until every inmate who is truly committed to change has the choice and the chance to reboot his life. We strive to empower our men to move from being tax consumers to taxpayers; from gang leaders to servant leaders, and from felons to real fathers and even philanthropists.”

For more information on PEP, visit their website. The students were so grateful for the opportunity to see PEP’s vision brought to life and to assist in the process of these men’s transformation.

Written by Jake LoGrasso

Jake is a student at the College of Business at Dallas Baptist University.

Share this Post: