Monday, August 26, 2019

Today we attended our Toastmasters International class. In this class, we practice speaking in front of a large audience. As this class nears its end, we are reminded that this chapter in the book of our lives is also coming to an end. It has been an eye-opening experience, and this is only the beginning. When we walk out of that gate, we will truly experience all that life has to offer.

The Fall class of 2019 comes from all parts of Texas, yet we are united. We are each walking our own paths, but we stand together on the same journey. There is a new hope, a stronger faith and a deeper understanding of love that ties us together. However, let us never forget the pain, hurt and lonely nights when our poor choices left us feeling as if we had no one. We will use these memories to push us to achieve ultimate success.

Every morning that we wake up, we are proud husbands, fathers, brothers and sons; giving God all the glory and thanks for the life that He’s so graciously given us. We would like to thank all of our loved ones who have supported us. We love you!

Andre M. (a.k.a. “Jacob”)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Today, two executives named Monte P. and Keith F. came to the Cleveland Unit to enlighten the class of Spring ’20 on what it means to achieve Authentic Manhood. As Servant-Leaders in training, many of us sat in their class as they went over Chapter Four in their Quest for Authentic Manhood workbooks. After the presentation, the guys spoke on ways to begin the process of building a solid foundation in their lives. Toward the end, we got to witness the men in class issue “fun names” to their fellow PEP brothers.

As for the class of Fall ’19, we participated in study groups to prepare for the Chapter Nine entrepreneurship test that we will be taking tomorrow. The test will be over the different forms of corporations; the many contracts, leases, licenses and permits a business will encounter; and the importance of obtaining copyrights, trademarks and patents. This information is really important for anyone who wants to start a business.

Our class is currently preparing for the Business Plan Workshop event on Friday. Students from the University of Houston are going to come to the Cleveland Unit to go over our business plans and listen to our “elevator” (short) pitches. We are really looking forward to listening to their feedback and receiving some constructive criticism. We are hoping that the advice we receive from them will give us some fresh ideas for our finished business plans. The Business Plan Competition is less than two months away!

Quentin B. (a.k.a. “Antoine Dotson”)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Today, the Kings of Fall ’19 had an extremely busy day. We started the day off early with a test over parts three and four of the book Crime and Punishment. After the test, some of the brothers had to stay behind and retake the Integrity Selling test. For those of us who were lucky enough to pass it the first time, this gave us more time to study for the entrepreneurship test this afternoon. Studying can be difficult for some of us, but it sure pays off if we don’t have to worry about extra homework after a full day of testing!

After lunch, we headed back to the PEP room for our entrepreneurship test. When the last test was completed, Brian T. (a.k.a. “Cruella De Vil”), helped us to get ready for the Business Plan Workshop event on Friday. It was a little chaotic because everyone was working really hard to perfect their elevator pitches. Brian T. definitely had his work cut out for him, but at the end of the day, everyone did a pretty good job! That’s what it’s about after all: progress, not perfection!

Benjamin S. (a.k.a. “Sugar Water”)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Today was a relaxing day for the brothers of Fall ’19. We were all relieved to have taken all of our tests for the week. This provided us with the opportunity to prepare for the Business Plan Workshop event tomorrow. These events are some of the most exciting days for those of us in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

Our brothers in the class of Spring ’20 had another day of self-discovery in Leadership Academy. They discussed session six in Quest for Authentic Manhood. The session dealt with something that spoke to many of us on a very personal level: the absent father wound. Afterwards, they closed out the day with a presentation on one of PEP’s 10 Driving Values: Fresh-Start Outlook.

Tamer Z. (a.k.a. “Scrappy Coco”)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Today, we woke up with excitement flowing through our bodies. Several college students from the University of Houston’s Wolf Center of Entrepreneurship joined us for our Business Plan Workshop event. Although we didn’t really know what to expect, we have come to realize that as we get closer to graduation, the events become more meaningful.

The experience that we received today was definitely one to cherish. All of the students and executives that attended showed us a lot of love and gave us some great advice. As it turned out, the students were just as nervous as we were. We all learned something very valuable at this event – not just about business, but about ourselves.

Every day we are confronted with new and exciting challenges! As a result, we grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We would like to thank all of the executives and students from the University of Houston for joining us on this journey of self-discovery and higher learning. We also want to extend our love to our families who have supported us through this stage of our lives.  

Ben O. (a.k.a. “Free Clinic”)

Expressions

“What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all of our tomorrows.”

~Alexandra Stoddard

You are only as good as the things that you put into yourself. So, I would ask each of us to question exactly what it is that we are feeding ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually. Life is willing to offer us so many chances and new beginnings, but they are only available if we give ourselves the opportunity. What will you do with yours?  

Conan R. (a.k.a. “Justin Bieber”)

Fearless Fall ’18