Monday, December 02, 2019

Today was our first day of Toastmasters International. Toastmasters is a worldwide public speaking course that helps us speak with ease in front of a room filled with people. The theme of the day was defining what success means. To us, success means achieving a goal set to better yourself and the people around you while enjoying every precious moment of the accomplishment.

The objective of the day was to break the ice with our peers by giving a four to six minute speech about ourselves. Some froze the moment they stepped to the front. Remembering we are brothers here in PEP, we support each other as we stretch ourselves and rise to each challenge. We are extremely excited to get back on the horse next week!  

Ricky S. (a.k.a. “Nitro”)

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Today we visited the computer lab for the first time. We all had a great time learning and working on our rusty computer skills. We had a day of lessons to help with key strokes, keyboard memory and a variety of other things.

We even got a chance to work on our business plans. We wrote our mission statements, as well as differentiators in our businesses to define areas we believe we are better than our competitors. The computer lab class was extremely beneficial and educational to us all. We have all agreed that we cannot wait for the next computer lab class!

Tyrone B. (a.k.a. “Kimbo Sprinkle Slice”)

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

We started off the day by praying out some of our brothers. It’s always an exciting experience to see our brothers getting ready to go back to their loved ones and preparing to start the next chapter of life. After pray-outs, we took some time to “iron out some of the wrinkles in our fabric” by realizing that communication is key to our success. We should feel encouraged by our brothers who have the courage to speak up for the benefit of our PEP experience.

In the afternoon, we went to our first Entrepreneurship class as Spring ‘20. Our instructor, Jose C. (a.k.a. “The Russian”) is a funny guy and extremely intelligent. We eagerly anticipate spending more time with him and getting to know him better.    

Jacob E. (a.k.a. “Butthead”)

Thursday, December 05, 2019                                                                        

Although today was a day off, there is never truly a day off in PEP. Every day is a learning adventure in our eyes. We also realize how blessed we truly are when it comes to the graduates who help us stay ahead.

We conducted a study group and reviewed several chapters. Lucky for us, our brothers are dedicated to helping us succeed.

Our brothers who have already graduated give great insights. The motivation offered in order for us to keep striving is monumental. We are blessed to obtain the knowledge offered to us from PEP. All in all, we are definitely extremely thankful.

Jamelle C. (a.k.a. “Skeeter”)

Friday, December 06, 2019

We have been anticipating our Think Tank event all week. As the day arrived, we implemented all of the planning that we had worked on behind the scenes. A lot of us were nervous, as we had no idea what to expect from the visiting executives.

As the event kicked off, we lined up to welcome the executives into prison. We greeted the executives with high-fives and handshakes. The ice was broken and we were ready to divide into our respective groups and begin conversing with the executives.

After receiving all of the excellent and sometimes blunt feedback, we returned to our classroom with the executives. We listened to an inspirational speech from Bryan K. (a.k.a. Dorothy), and, afterwards, mingled with the executives. The event ended shortly after and we were all greatly appreciative of the time we were able to spend with the executives at our first event.

Eric G. (a.k.a. “Buzz Lightyear”)


“What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Growing up in the country, I was exposed to many simple yet profound quotations. One such saying was about people “bending the twig.” It was used in reference to the way that parents raised their children. No doubt, it was derived from an old proverb that states, “As a twig is bent, so will it grow.”

In the art of growing a bonsai tree, the horticulturist will begin to mold and shape the tender branches of the sprout to grow in a particular manner. As parents, the same is true with our children. We are bending the twig! One way or the other, to the left or to the right, for better or worse, we are determining the course of life that child will take. Therefore, we should take great care, lest we bend it in the wrong way.

Our children deserve the best that we can give them. They did not ask to be born, and their destiny is not just in their own hands, but in our strong – or weak – will. And the best that we can give them is not measured in education, culture, finance or security, but in the character which we help produce in them. What will your children become when they have been formed after your pattern and by your direction?

James R. (a.k.a. “Biscuits and Jelly”)

Fearless Fall ’18