Week 16

Week in Review

Monday April 15, 2019

Today we had our Toastmasters International class. Toastmasters is a once-a-week workshop session where we come together to enhance our public speaking skills. Before beginning this class, many of us found public speaking to be both intimidating and frightening, regardless of whether the groups were large or small.

Toastmasters has 10 speech projects. Each one is designed to help us develop our speaking skills, one step at a time. As we come closer to graduation, our growth has been a prime example that without effort there is no progress, and without progress there is no success.

The effort and attention that we put into our speeches shows how much we have grown. Every speaker that stood before the class today delivered his speech with ease and confidence. This is just another example where we have conquered our fears. That is why we are known as the “Conquerors of Spring ’19”!

David S. (a.k.a. “Trunk Monkey”)

Tuesday April 16, 2019

Every Tuesday, the “Conquerors of Spring ’19” can be found diligently studying for the test that we have every Wednesday. Today was no different! We were all at the tables, with our flashcards, reviewing for the test. Some chose to study individually, while others formed small study groups. One thing is for sure: we are ready for Brian T.’s test in the morning.

As the day moved on, we gathered under the stairs to practice our pitches for the Business Plan Competition. We are adding our financials to what we have already done, so that we will have a pitch of no less than seven minutes. Now that we are close to graduation, everyone seems to be a little more relaxed but, at the same time, we are excited.

Abel R. (a.k.a. “Mickey Mouse”)

Wednesday April 17, 2019

We started our entrepreneur class today with a test. Many of us were nervous; there is a lot going on with the Business Plan Competition and graduation just around the corner. However, we met this challenge as we have met all others throughout this program.

Once the test was completed, it was time for our favorite part of the class. It was Brian T.’s (a.k.a. “Cruella de Vil”) time to shine. We all clapped our hands as he danced down the aisle. Today’s lesson was on Chapter 12. The focal point of the chapter was on establishing operations and developing a critical path chart. We covered a lot of material during our weekly entrepreneurship class.

Back on the Pods, many people immediately began to study, while others continued to write or practice their pitches in preparation for next month’s Pitch Day event. It is a good feeling to be approaching the completion of this program. Keep up the good work, Spring ’19!

.Juan P. (a.k.a. “Tootsie Roll”)

Thursday April 18, 2019

Today started off like every other Thursday morning since the beginning of this second (business) phase. The PEP brothers who have computer lab in the morning have the opportunity to learn Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These skills will help us in our future business undertakings. We may not have had this opportunity to learn these skills if not for PEP.

PEP has truly opened our hearts and given us the tools to change who we used to be and help us to grow into the Conquerors of Spring ’19. We are working on our business plan pitches for our upcoming event in two weeks. With this in mind, we are taking pride in putting our pitches together. This requires hard work and the persistence needed to conquer our fears in order to present them to the PEP executive volunteers effectively.

Let’s keep up the hard work and stay dedicated to our studies as we proceed toward graduation. This is an important part of our journey and must be taken seriously. PEP has taken the initiative to bless us, and we are looking forward to passing along these blessings to others.

Emmanuel M. (a.k.a. “Mr. Herbert P”)

Friday April 19, 2019

It is important to wake up and show our thanks by talking to our Lord in heaven every morning. PEP is truly a blessing that should not be wasted even when the stress of our studies and the hectic schedules affect us. With this in mind, we speak positivity into our days spent here as wise stewards should. God truly has blessed the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, and it would be unfortunate if any of its resources were wasted.

We don’t have any classes today, so we are just relaxing and putting the final touches on our remaining projects, whether it be at recreation, in the dayroom or in our cells. Our thinking has shown that we are becoming competent businessmen able to give back to society.

Today lived up to its name: Good Friday. God is blessing us all with opportunities for growth in the workplace and in our homes. PEP is such a unique blessing that doesn’t happen everywhere (as of yet), and it is very important that we don’t waste the gifts we have here. So let us thank our Father in heaven every day.

Jerome S. (a.k.a. “Samuel Jackson”)


“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

                                                                                                                                    ~ John 15:13

In his book Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor had explained to the boy that his sister had the same disease that he had previously recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two of them had the same blood type, the boy was the ideal donor. When the doctor asked the boy if he would give his blood to his sister, Johnny hesitated, his lips began to tremble and he just stood there looking down at his feet. After a moment he seemed to gather himself. Johnny looked at the doctor, smiled and said, “Sure, for my sister.”

The two children were wheeled into the hospital room. There was a stark contrast between the two; Mary being pale and thin and Johnny being robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned. However, as the nurse stuck the needle into his arm, Johnny’s smile faded. He watched wide-eyed, as the blood began to flow through the tube.

When the procedure was almost over, Johnny broke the silence. He asked the doctor, “When do I die?” Then the doctor fully realized why the boy had acted the way he did, when he agreed to donate his blood. He had thought that giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life.

It wasn’t necessary for him to give up his life for his sister, but he was willing to do it. His great love for his sister had caused him to make that decision. In the spirit of this Easter holiday, let us remember that there was one who laid down his own life for us.