Monday, September 16, 2019

We have only two weeks left before we have to pitch in front of a panel of executives who know all about entrepreneurship. Preparing for them is what we have been working on. Every day, we have been practicing and reciting our pitches in an attempt to have them memorized when that day gets here.

Today, we had a guest speaker come in and give a presentation. His name is Rob M. and he is a professor from the University of Houston. He is an amazing speaker and has a lot of knowledge about entrepreneurship. His presentation was very animated, humorous and concise. Every bit of information that he shared with us will be helpful as we prepare for Pitch Day.

Our whole day is filled with finalizing assignments and putting the finishing touches on our business plans. It all seems to be happening so quickly! Graduation is October 25th, and the Kings of Fall ’19 have been looking forward to that day for months. That day will not only be memorable but cherished by our families as well as ourselves. We will be certified entrepreneurs who will have an infinite number of possibilities to confront and conquer!

Moses A. (a.k.a. “Daddy Yankee”)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Today, we came together to practice our pitches. To some it may come easy, but to a lot of us, it is the scariest thing that we have ever done. However, this program has been all about facing and conquering our fears.

We thank God that we have brothers who understand what we are going through and care enough to help those of us who have a fear of speaking in front of a crowd. We are also extremely grateful for our PEP family, both inside and outside, who give us drive, motivation and courage. It is they who make us strive to be more than who we were yesterday.

In these moments of struggle and uncertainty, I remember this quote: “I may not be who you want me to be, but thank God I’m not the man I used to be.”

Tamundray W. (a.k.a. “Dee Bo”)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Today, the Kings of Fall ’19 woke up early, eager to face a new day. As soon as the dayrooms opened, we formed groups and began reciting our Business Plan pitches to one another. We are required to repeat them to at least five people a day until we can recount them with feeling and conviction. It is a little stressful at first but, in the end, it’s a good thing because it prepares us to be successful entrepreneurs.

At 9 a.m., we were called out to attend our Toastmasters International class. It is an awesome class that teaches us how to become effective public speakers. It also gives us the experience and tools necessary to teach others how to be public speakers, as well as motivational speakers.

Last but not least, we ended the day by spending a few hours in the Computer Lab. We are learning how to operate computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. These programs are not only used in the business world, they are useful in a person’s day-to-day activities. We are so blessed to receive all the knowledge, wisdom and experience that the Prison Entrepreneurship Program has to offer!

Daryl L. (a.k.a. “Big Worm”)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Today, we were able to slow down a bit due to bad weather. However, PEP requires consistent application of our studies and time management. It is easy for us to use brief moments like these to relax and set aside our focus, but what PEP has instilled in us is that utilizing every opportunity to improve ourselves and our situation is a trait of Wise Stewardship, one of our 10 Driving Values.

Since our Pitch Day event is next Friday, we made the most of this occasion by diligently rehearsing our pitches. There is much more to presenting a pitch than just being comfortable reciting words; we want to properly convey the message that our pitch holds! Thankfully, our PEP brothers are being more attentive to those of us who require a little extra push of encouragement.

As graduation day approaches, it is easy to develop the mindset of relaxing because of the achievements that we have already obtained. However, this program has given us the clarity of mind to know that complacency is a direct threat to our goals. Finish strong, Kings of Fall ’19 – victory is ours!

Brian R. (a.k.a. “Charmin Bear”)

Friday, September 20, 2019

Due to the inclement weather that we experienced the last couple of days, PEP was knocked a little off schedule. However, we didn’t allow that to ruin the opportunity to progress. We simply said “thank God” and made adjustments.

Today, we were scheduled to practice our pitches in the classroom, but the Spring class of 2020 was called out instead. They were given the chance to fill out forms that would ensure their children would receive Christmas presents on their behalf. What a wonderful opportunity! This did not mean that we had a day off from presenting our pitches; we came together in our respective pods (dorms) and held peer pitch panels. Way to go, Kings of Fall ’19!

Ronald M. (a.k.a. “Bernie Mac”)

Expressions

“Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

       ~ Charles de Lint                   

Most men come to this program seeking direction, feeling as if their lives have no real purpose. For some, that may actually have been the case. Most of us, however, have simply been putting our efforts into the wrong purpose.

Whether we feel as if our lives have continually alternated between the forge and the anvil, every trial, tribulation, error and blunder will have greater meaning if we use it as a teaching tool. We all have a story to tell that is unique to the experiences we have endured.

The aim of every man should be to learn from one’s mistakes. However, what would happen if we set our sights a little higher and helped others to avoid the broken paths that we know end in misery? Let us not be afraid to tell on ourselves, for it just might save a life.

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

Fearless Fall ’18 Graduate