Week 11


Week in Review


Monday March 12, 2018

This Monday started off right for the Soldiers of Spring ’18. The sun was shining when our fearless leader Greg P. called the accountability leaders out for our bi-weekly meeting.

We talked about a few issues that are important to the PEP community and culture, then Greg P. gave us our weekly topic to discuss with our accountability groups. The accountability groups are a select few people who meet together once a week in order to get to know each other while helping to build our community. It just so happened that our topic was “Servant Leader Mentality,” which just so happens to be one of our 10 Driving Values.

As soon as we got back to our dorms, they called out Toastmasters, so off to class we went. Toastmasters happens to be one of my favorite classes, because it teaches us the fundamentals of public speaking in an entertaining way. All of my brothers gave great speeches, including Brandon C. who spoke about diversity. Everybody is starting to get good at speaking in front of people; keep it up, Soldiers! Overall, today was not your average Monday; it was an awesome one!

Curtis B. (a.k.a. “Sprinkles”)


Tuesday March 13, 2018

It’s Tuesday and most of our fellow PEP brothers have the day off from classes. This is an excellent opportunity for us to catch up on reading assignments and spend a little time studying for our weekly tests in Entrepreneurship class.

We look forward to days like today, not only to get caught up on our studies, but because we have the opportunity to attend outdoor recreation from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. every day. It was an absolutely marvelous day today, complete with a bright blue sky and sunshine. It was a comfortable 72 degrees, an ideal temperature for getting either exercise or a little rest and relaxation.

Today you could find people enjoying the sandy volleyball court, the softball field, the soccer field, the track (3 laps equals a mile), the weight sets, the handball court or the horseshoe pits. From an outside perspective, you would think that I’m talking about an athletic field at some major American university, not a prison recreation yard. All in all, it was a fantastic day for everyone to get a little fresh air, and a little exercise to recharge our batteries. Knowledge plus exercise equals personal growth!

Philip C. (a.k.a. “Sponge Bob”)


Wednesday March 14, 2018

Today in class we had a great time learning the financial foundations of our businesses. As we’ve been told, the next three lessons are critical to getting our businesses up and running. The financial aspect is what we consider the “meat and bones” of business, and we are feasting on this cornucopia of information.

Bert S. is such a great teacher. He really breaks down the curriculum into bite-size pieces that are easily digestible, metaphorically speaking. Our class has some great business ideas, and in order to make them a reality, we will need to understand the inner mechanics of business.

Being a part of the PEP revolution is the greatest blessing that has been bestowed on us. We are actually learning how to create and implement a real business, and we are grateful for this golden opportunity. A huge thanks to Bert S. and all of the other volunteers, and tremendous thanks to God, because without God none of this would be possible. We can finally rise and become the men that God intended us to be.

Gary C. (a.k.a. “Master Splinter”)


Thursday March 15, 2018

After our formal introductions, the Soldiers of Spring ’18 began to receive etiquette lessons from Mrs. Colleen R., who is such a wonderful lady. An interesting fact about her is that she also teaches lessons in etiquette to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, which just happens to be the best team and cheerleading squad by far.

We have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to learn excellence in etiquette from a professional. Most of the Soldiers of Spring ’18 are not familiar with this type of training, so we’re very attentive and on our best behavior. I enjoyed watching my brothers have fun as we learned new ways to eat, dress, act and present ourselves.

I’m proud to be a part of this PEP brotherhood where we take care of our business. We would like to thank Mrs. Colleen for her time and her energy; she epitomizes being a lady.

Christopher C. (a.k.a. “Hanz”)


Friday March 16, 2018

We started today on edge, going over our notes for our financial literacy class, Living in the Village. All of us in L-Pod were quizzing one another vigorously, pushing one another in our constant pursuit of excellence. In class, we had to say farewell to some of our brothers who are going home, which we all enjoy doing because it means that we too are one day closer to reuniting with our families.

After count time was over, things lightened up considerably. There was some really funny lip sync battles going on while we prepared for our Etiquette Night event, but the best lip sync performance came from our brothers David B. and Elbert A. Those two should have a TV show or something; it was great! The whole performance really set the fun mode of our class into full swing.

Once the event started, we welcomed the executives with open arms; then James S. (a.k.a. “Hank Hill”) led the dance team on stage which was quite entertaining. Immediately afterwards, it was lunchtime and everybody – volunteers and PEP brothers alike – enjoyed a super-duper meal. We sat back and thought that this is what PEP is really about: meeting people, in a semi-formal setting, with very successful and highly educated backgrounds.

The day ended with the emotionally charged pray-out for the awesome and generous Bert S. We all have Bert to thank for his insight, knowledge and drive that he shares with us from week to week. He inspires all of us in PEP on the Cleveland Unit and all the other PEP units as well. We all love you Bert and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

David M. (a.k.a. “Tweety Bird”)



“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our personalities, talents and spiritual gifts are what make us so unique. However, they were given to us for a divine purpose, so for us to try and suppress or hide them is to deny who we are. In addition, for the world to try and conform us to a standard that goes against who we are and what we believe is nonsense – but they will only be successful if you allow them to be. A man walking down the street, while everyone else is running down the street, will stick out like a sore thumb. And if everyone around you is choosing to be “normal,” then choose to be that one candle flame in a room full of darkness.

Michael G. (a.k.a. “Baby Simba”)