Updated: May 6, 2020
"Your circumstance can't hold you captive.
Freedom starts from within!"
The KPM Leadership Academy is raising up leaders and transforming lives to lead in the Texas prisons! We couldn't be more proud of these eleven men who stood up and served as leaders in our personal development course "Beyond Success!"
Just several months back these men joined the class not really sure of what to expect. At the completion of the course they recognized that they were different. Because of this new awareness and confidence they couldn't wait to share this class with others.
The men were so inspired by the training that they took the next step and became certified as a Roundtable Facilitator. As a facilitator, they are given more responsibility and there is a higher demand to lead by an example of good character and integrity. They did an amazing job learning to lead themselves, while in the process they worked extremely hard learning to lead others!
As a Roundtable Facilitator they assist their peers (which in this culture is known to be very difficult) on the journey of change, restoration and success. I am pleased to share that they rose to the challenge and did an amazing job!
Through their efforts of recruitment they invited 38 men to join them on this journey of growth and expansion. This class of students was ready to learn, willing to stretch out of their comfort zone and commit to a system of personal growth, character development and innovative successful thinking.
Watching God do the Impossible!
For with God Nothing will be Impossible! Luke 1:37
Here are the beautiful results! A class of 49 men completing this life changing course to prepare them for what God has designed for their future. These men now have vision to see what is ahead and they are working daily to let go of what has been holding them back.
These men's lives are like a puzzle. God is putting them back together one piece at a time. When they attend the classes and commit to the weekly homework and action steps, they begin thinking different, talking different and limiting walls start coming down. They begin to trust and confide in one another and realize that there is nothing too big or too hard for God to restore in their life.
During the training we have seen these men build new relationships while forming a brotherhood with men they would never associate with in the free world. They begin to encourage one another and hold each other accountable. They challenge one another to apply what they are learning each week.
They are finding their purpose by discovering what makes them laugh what makes them cry and what makes their heart sing. This new information has become so life changing to them they are sharing what they are learning with their wives, children and families and friends outside the walls of the prison.
We know that when God changes you, it is impossible to contain it!
On graduation day as the men were issued their cap and gowns, you could feel the excitement in the air and see the excitement on each man's face. For many, this day was greatly anticipated because some had never completed anything previously in their life. This day marked for many, a major step in the direction of a new beginning!
As they found their seats one of the directors came in and told them how proud he was of them and asked this eye opening question. "How many of you are wearing a cap and gown today for the very first time?" The hands slowly began going up. Soon, the majority of the men in the room where holding their hand up. Our hearts sank!
At that moment, it was so easy to feel sad thinking that because of limited good role models, little to no opportunities and some very bad choices these things had stolen such a monumental moment from them.
However, at that moment, we realized that we were actually living out OUR purpose! We realized that THEY are our "WHY!" Wow! This moment was confirmation of why the KPM Leadership Academy was so vitally needed within the prison system. We are there to help rebuild lives by helping them put the broken pieces back together.
Our mission is to let them know that they matter and to give them success tools to become a leader of their own life. We do this by bringing them the unconditional love of Jesus Christ and sharing hope for a second chance.
The graduation program started off with six students sharing a testimony of what the class meant to them and how their life was impacted. It was so powerful to hear how this course had opened new mind sets and helped many to find purpose right where they are. It helped them to start dreaming and to expand their vision for the future. There is so much untapped potential sitting behind bars.
Kent and I shared an encouraging commencement speech that day explaining to them that they may have been looked at as the "PROBLEM" in the past, however from this day forward they have the opportunity to be the "SOLUTION" in the future. We encouraged them that God was preparing them with wings to FLY into their destiny and do great things. That God has a plan and a purpose for them to fulfill and it was their choice to determine what that looks like in the days ahead.
We rejoiced knowing that with God and the help of our faithful partners we were able to be a part of them putting a stake in the ground that day when they received their diploma and celebrated.
They stood up proudly as they were commissioned and announced as the 2020 graduates of The KPM Leadership Academy. They smiled and cheered as they symbolically moved their tassel on their cap from right to left. Symbolic in knowing that today is a day of change and transformation and being able to say out loud........"I Did it!"
That day, we witnessed that with God NOTHING is Impossible!