Week in Review

Monday, March 2, 2020

We had an awesome day beginning with Toastmasters International. Five speakers talked about a variety of topics. Some speeches were inspirational. Some of our PEP brother’s speeches were educational. Then some others were just outright hilarious. This class has helped bring the best out in all of us when it comes to speaking in front of large crowds.

PEP has taught us that to be effective leaders, you must first serve. The 10 Driving Values have placed a moral foundation for all of us to stand on. Between the Authentic Manhood course and the support we give each other, we are all destined for success.

Back on the dorm, we formed a study group to get ready for the upcoming Entrepreneurship test on Wednesday. We all want to boost our GPA as we get closer to graduation. A couple of guys also got together to help make a Jeopardy game from the PEP study guide. We want to make sure the next class will be ready for anything that comes its way. We are all thankful to be a part of something as amazing as PEP.

Joseph M. (a.k.a. “Michael Blackson”)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

For those of us who did not have computer lab today, we spent time studying and reading. We have also been mentoring the new class of Fall ’20. These new PEP brothers always come back from their class with much enthusiasm.

It is hard to believe that we were in Phase One (character phase) just a few months ago. It is a joy to see our new brothers really want to do better and change their lives for the better. We hope to lead by example and help motivate them during this new chapter of their lives.

We are very excited to have two guest speakers coming this week. The knowledge they will instill in us is priceless. We will continue to use all of the tools PEP has given us, as they will help us succeed in life.

Matthew M. (a.k.a. “Garfield”)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

On Wednesday at 7 a.m., our cell doors unlocked and we were ready to face the day. We had mustered ourselves and made our beds because, just like Admiral William H. McRaven once said, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”

We had a talk with God. Then we drank our coffee and waited for PEP to call us for a pray-out. This is where we wish one of our brothers farewell. He is about to test his new skills and face the world. In the classroom, you can feel the electricity, love and anticipation. It is good to see our brother’s happiness and joy, knowing that he will reunite with his family once again and that he is also part of a more extended PEP family.

Later, we rejoiced with a special guest presentation. Two executives came and advised us on how to make a professional pitch presentation. Their advice sharpened our skills to a new level. Following this was a dozen motivational videos. After the class was complete, we went back to our cells for some R&R and called it a day.

Edggar M. (a.k.a. “Ray Mysterio Jr.”)

Thursday, March 5, 2020

We have almost made it through another week. As our pitch day event draws near, all of us in Spring ’20 are buckling down. Every day, we are constantly getting our pitches ready. Thankfully, we have had a couple of good presentations on effective public speaking, plus our experience in Toastmasters International helps us out.

In addition, our brothers in the class of Fall ’20 attended Leadership Academy today. It is exciting to see a new class begin their journey and continue the cycle of positive change within each individual. We all look forward to seeing the changes, not only in them, but also in all of our PEP brothers.

Nicholas T. (a.k.a. “Cave Man”)

Friday, March 6, 2020

On this incredible day, we got the chance to listen to a guest speaker named Adam W. His focus was marketing, which is extremely important to a future entrepreneur. The information he relayed to us will help tremendously with our businesses.

We will use the advice given in this presentation in the near future when we pitch our businesses to our executive volunteers. He also gave us a ideas on how to approach our customers professionally. For his desire and dedication to help us better our businesses and futures, we thank him.

Ricky S. (a.k.a. “Nitro”)


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

             ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote is powerful to me because it reveals that you are in control of the value you assign to another person’s words. Let’s say an eight year old boy comes up to you and tells you that you are ugly. You will blow it off because he is a little kid, and therefore his opinion of your appearance does not matter to you.

Now let us say that an attractive woman you have been preparing to ask out comes up to you and tells you that you are ugly. Now you may think more of her opinion of your appearance because you assign her words more value. In life, we have the power to determine how much value to give to the thoughts of others. Being successful in life requires we do this intelligently and in a manner that benefits us in the end.

Joshua B. (a.k.a. “McLovin”)