Week in Review
Monday November 19, 2018
With our finish line in sight, all of us here in Fearless Fall ’18 are becoming anxious for our big day. We are all rehearsing our final business plan pitches and are making final adjustments as we see fit. The camaraderie is amazing and we have come so far together through this process. With graduation taking place within a matter of weeks, we are preparing a few special treats for our loved ones, who will be attending graduation.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we are preparing to enter into the holiday season. It has been a joy to see how the men of Fearless Fall ’18 have utilized this time to not only help their fellow comrades and classmates, but have come together to help the next class in line behind us. We are demonstrating Servant-Leadership at its finest, and it is an honor and privilege to be part of PEP. Today is not only one more step toward graduation, but it is also one more day closer to the rest of our lives upon release.
Jeremy N. (a.k.a. “Carly Rae”)
Tuesday November 20, 2018
First and foremost, we are truly happy to be closing in on graduation. These past few months have been a serious journey, and we are sure that all of PEP brothers on the Unit have noticed a change throughout our entire class. We started out wide-eyed and hungry for something different, expecting the unknown. Along the way, we have squinted our eyes and narrowed the field to accomplish the goal we set out to do.
Preparation is the essence of what we are about. We are diligently preparing our pitches so we will not have stage fright and unsure moments. Collectively we pitch to each other daily, sometimes multiple times a day. We know our mirrors more intimately because of the many times we recite our pitches in front of them. On the pod, it’s not uncommon to see panels of two, six or ten men. All this to be prepared – prepared for that day not so far away when we will pitch, maybe for the last time, but also to be prepared for the next chapter of our lives.
We, the Fearless Fall ‘18 participants, have accepted the challenges set before us, not knowing the outcome, but knowing that we were built for the challenge and surpassing all expectations to be the best class PEP has ever graduated! We are rejecting passivity, accepting responsibility, leading courageously and expecting God’s greater reward.
Monson D. (a.k.a. “Pinky”)
Wednesday November 21, 2018
It was so nice and refreshing to see the tremendous hard work and commitment of everyone practicing pitches today. Brain T. (a.k.a. “Cruella de Vil”) divided us into four groups and had all of us practice our pitches. It was awesome to see how far everyone has come. Then Brain T. had a small surprise for us: he had us face off for a head-to-head pitch competition. The losers had to do wormy dog races. This was a lot of fun!
There are only two weeks left until Fearless Fall ’18 will graduate. We are looking forward to seeing our families’ faces when they see the new authentic men we have become. The ride was not easy, but it’s been worth it.
As for the Spring ’19 Class that is about to begin Phase Two of this program, we have some words of encouragement: “Whatever you do, don’t quit, even when things get tough and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.” The struggles of life are not easy, so each and every participant needs to take this challenge as a learning experience and follow through with their commitment to change their lives. They should remember they are the ones who are going to benefit from this life-changing experience.
Sage K. (a.k.a. “J Wow”)
Thursday November 22, 2018
We did not have class today, but we still had a busy day packed full of food and friendship. Our Thanksgiving Day feast started early at 4:45 a.m. for a special breakfast of chicken and waffles with fruit loops. This was far better than our standard pancake breakfast. Lunch was great too. We had turkey, stuffing, broccoli and cheese, potato salad, rolls and cranberry sauce. Dessert was a huge piece of cake, cobbler and pumpkin pie. Everyone was in a great mood, smiles all around with wishes of Happy Thanksgiving ringing up and down the hallways.
Our afternoon was filled with watching football and making phone calls home. Lots of us went outside to socialize, yet we were too full to exercise; but, after a few hours outside most of us were ready to eat again. Our evening was full of making huge dinners and cakes. Even though we didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving at mom’s house, spirits were high because this is our first Thanksgiving together with our new brothers in PEP.
Christopher M. (a.k.a. “Cowardly Lion”)
Friday November 23, 2018
Today was the day after Thanksgiving for all of the PEP brothers, so many of us are enjoying the day off from our classes by eating leftovers and watching football. Everyone is getting excited for the upcoming graduation and spirits are high, because the finish line is so close. We used some of our free time today to practice and work on our pitches, which are coming along nicely.
Holiday spirits are high here at the Cleveland Unit because we will all get to see our families in a few days. The PEP brothers give thanks to God, PEP and our loved ones for all the help we have received to get us to this point.
Kevin A. (a.k.a. “Yams”)
“Love never fails.”
There’s this Christmas story someone told me a long time ago and I’ll never forget it. In New York, when America was just starting, there was this man who lived on the streets. He did whatever he could to make ends meet. He would beg, borrow or steal; anything he could to live. And one Christmas Eve, he found a dollar bill and was so happy. He didn’t know what to do with the fortune he had just found. Finally, he decided to buy some drinks for his friends and himself. On the way, he saw a baseball bat in the window of a sports shop. The haunting memory of how much he had wanted a bat like that when he was a kid burned in his heart like fire. So he rushed into the shop, bought the baseball bat, went down the street and left it propped up on the door of an orphanage. He rang the bell and ran. The bat was given that Christmas to a little boy who loved to play ball, but up to that time, he never had his own bat. It was his best Christmas ever….you may know this little boy by the name he had when he became home run king in the big leagues; it was Babe Ruth.
You may never know how your actions may affect another person in life, good or bad. Be kind to all and think of others before yourself, because the real reward is received through the heart.
Dale R. (a.k.a. “Sweet Breeches”)