Monday, July 15, 2019

Mondays are usually unwelcome because they typically mean it is time to go back to work after an enjoyable weekend. That was not the case for the PEP brothers of Fall ’19. We were all a little more eager today because we just came off of a week-long lockdown. It was time to get back to our regular schedule!

We started our day off with a group meeting. Greg P. (a.k.a. “Flower”) and Pat M. (a.k.a. “Precious”) were present. After the meeting, we stayed for our Toastmasters class, which is actually a well-known and respected international course. We are now in our fifth week of the class.

We have formed a brotherhood here at PEP as we live, work and grow together. When it comes to tomorrow, we all know that it is not promised. But as for today, we’re growing in mind, body and spirit. We are being given the tools necessary to hope for a brighter future. Thank you God, our Lord and Savior, for all the love, mercy, patience and forgiveness that You freely give to us. May we all, saved and unsaved, feel the love and mercy of God. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!

David P. (a.k.a. “Hector”)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It was a bright and beautiful day here at the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. As the sun rose, signifying the start of a new day, we did too. With a cup of coffee in hand, we got up and prepared to meet the challenges of this new day. We realize that if we are to fill our minds with all the information that this day has to offer, we must start with the right attitude. So we gathered around and joined one another in prayer.

We had our Toastmasters class yesterday, but today we prepared our speeches for next week’s class. Toastmasters is giving us the knowledge we seek to become better men, while our brothers give us the inspiration and encouragement to stay on track. We learn from one another by sharing ideas.

Public speaking still makes some of us nervous, but we realize that we must overcome this fear. With the help of one another, we will become better speakers. By doing so, we will have gained something valuable that we can use for the rest of our lives.

Jose G. (a.k.a. “Machete”)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Today, we had Tim H. (a.k.a. “Timmie”) come in and speak with us about the “economics of one unit” (EOUs). We all asked many questions about how to apply this to our own business ideas. At first, a lot of us did not understand the EOUs, so Tim H.’s presentation was a great help.  He used the example of selling cheesecake slices to illustrate the EOU model. We all had a good laugh at his cheesecake presentation, and it was super helpful. He definitely needs to use that illustration in future presentations, as it made it much easier to understand.

Tim H. also spoke about how PEP is working on being able to supply real funding for business ventures. This would be a great help to those of us who really want to start a business after being released. One of the hardest parts of starting a business is securing the necessary funding. PEP is supplying us with much more than an education; we are receiving tools for a brighter future.

Fermin G. (a.k.a. “Tony Montana”)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

There were no classes today for the members of Fall ’19, so we got together and formed study groups to strengthen our minds and skills concerning the EOU assignments. We focused on memorizing the formulas and understanding the concepts. More importantly, we supported one another and encouraged each other as we continued this process of learning and growing.

During those sessions, we talked about our dreams and goals concerning our financial futures. After stating our beliefs, we shared opinions about how we can apply these principles to our lives. We also spoke of habits that will help us to achieve our individual dreams of financial freedom. PEP has placed us in a position to where we can obtain knowledge and wisdom from our brothers and share what we have learned with the outside world upon release, one community at a time!

William F. (a.k.a. “Bigfoot”)

Friday, July 19, 2019

We woke up early this morning, prepared ourselves and made sure that we had all of the necessary material for this morning’s class. Right on cue, an announcement was made over the loud speaker, “Fall ‘19! Fall ’19 turn out!” It was the official notification that we all needed to go to class.

As everyone entered the PEP room, we greeted one another. Once everyone arrived, our emcee, Deonte G. (a.k.a. “Slim Jim”), asked us to please make our way to our assigned seats. Deonte G. prayed us in, thanking God for blessing us with another opportunity of life and breath. Afterwards, we readied ourselves to take a test over Chapters Four and Five of the book entitled Living in the Village by Ryan C. Mack.

After all of the tests were turned in, the one and only Paul A. (a.k.a. “Life Alert”) gave a PowerPoint presentation on Chapters Six and Seven. The topic was “Getting your house in order,” which discussed how to achieve and maintain a FICO score above 750. Paul A. does an excellent job in the way that he teaches, facilitates and orchestrates the class. Every time that we have class, the information that he provides is insightful, resourceful and refreshing.

We learned a lot of things we didn’t know before and that will greatly benefit us once we are released. Each week gives us new opportunities to cultivate and grow mentally, physically and financially.

Joseph C. (a.k.a. “Ice Cube”)

Expressions

“The decision to proceed in life no matter what … is why some thrive in transition and others wither away.”

~Unknown

I kept this quote in my pocketbook while I was in prison. On my hard days, it reminded me that prison was not my final destination. I was going to thrive in this transition of life, no matter what the cost, and come out a new creation!

Julian R. (a.k.a. “Buzz Lightyear”)

Legends of the Fall ’17 Graduate