Week 8


Week in Review


Monday August 20, 2018

Today we had our Toastmasters class. In this class is equipping us with the knowledge and skills needed to become better public speakers.

We just had an event where we basically gave a speech or “pitch” to a Venture Capital Panel regarding the business which each of us intends on starting. Through this process, we each realized a few factors that we all have to take into account, such as important facts, eye contact, and nervousness. Each of these problems were pointed out during today’s Toastmasters class.

Before graduation, each of us will give a final business pitch, where we will use everything that we have learned to execute and provide an organized business pitch to a panel of executives. We are all looking forward to giving this speech and eventually graduating this program.

Jamal M. (a.k.a. “Red”)


Tuesday August 21, 2018

Today Fall ’18 was up and ready to start another day here at the Cleveland Unit. We walked into the PEP room and, as always, everyone was greeting each other with smiles and comfort. That’s what we love about this program: it builds our character and helps us find out who we really are.

History class is always exciting. We learn about the history that made this country so great! And it is very interesting to know all the battles and the lives people had to sacrifice to get where we are now. We all love what we’re learning here at PEP. It’s truly a place where you can get the opportunity you need to have a good life.

Also, we hope to see Spring ’19 make something out of this great opportunity that’s been presented to them and make their families proud. Get ready to dance!  Even if you’re not a very good dancer, you’ll become one here so don’t worry. I really hope to see everyone graduate, because it’s worth it.

Ricardo T. (a.k.a. “Toucan Sam”)


Wednesday August 22, 2018

Today, my brothers and I were all set to start our testimonies class. Unfortunately though, our class was cancelled at the last minute. The silver lining in that situation was that we got a few extra hours to study for our Economics of One Unit (EOUs) test in our afternoon entrepreneur class (a.k.a. “Bert S.’s class”). The test was difficult but also a necessary part of our development in PEP.

After the EOUs test, we went straight into our lesson for Chapter 6. The day was long and stressful, but we worked hard and persevered. I want to encourage all my brothers to finish what we started. It has been a long journey and we are almost there. Remember to always begin with the end in mind.

Christopher R. (a.k.a. “Pan Dulce”)


Thursday August 23, 2018

Today was an early start for us. We were called in at around 7:15 a.m. to begin with two tests. The first test was on American History: Declaring Independence. We love the fact that history is a part of the PEP curriculum. We began this part of the program roughly three weeks ago, where on Fridays we watch a video (episodes from the History channel) and fill out a worksheet. Then, the following Wednesday we test on the video and worksheet.

The other test was on Chapters Two and Three of the Living in the Village book we have been reading. Reading this book has taught us the true value and importance of financial literacy. This is truly a great opportunity for us to gain some necessary life skills. Being financially literate is more than just being frugal, and budgeting is not the restriction of spending but the organization of it.

We also had two special guests who came to witness the culture, impact and functions of PEP: one was a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Warden and the other was a representative from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, both of whom received a very warm and energetic welcome when they walked into our class. It’s impressive and inspiring to witness peoples’ reactions to the love and positive energy we exude here in PEP. We are all about positive progress and personal growth in ourselves and all we come in contact with; it’s a contagious movement. PEP is taking over the world!

Aljaray P. (a.k.a. “Beyoncé”)


Friday August 24, 2018

Today we got to meet with Theresa Black who is a PEP Family Liaison. She met with all of us about our family contact information which will be used to assist the Family Liaisons in helping our families to get to the graduation ceremony. We are so grateful to have her here. She is doing what she can to ensure our families attend graduation. It is so great to know that there are people who care that much about us.

Since Theresa was the only person doing these interviews and there are just over 100 of us, it took a while. It was okay though; we got to watch a couple of movies to help bide our time while waiting, including a historical pseudo-biography about Alexander the Great, which was really awesome and informative. And just like Alexander the Great, we are not just formidable; we are Fearless Fall ’18.

Perry T. (a.k.a. “Tickle Me Elmo”)



“It’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.”

~Diane Grant

PEP Brothers, one of the things this program has taught us since Men’s Life is to be authentic. Many of us have carried over the need to fit in with others from our teenage years, but as men we are called to become our own. If we’re worried about what other people think of us, then we’re wasting our time. The only person we must convince is ourselves.

There are so many people today moving in the wrong direction in life and one can easily be pulled along with them, especially if we’re still impressionable. But truth be told, we will only see a few of the individuals around us upon release, so don’t worry about them. This time out is for you.

We are at a point in our lives where we have an opportunity to figure out who we are and define ourselves without the influence of others. We must dig deep and reveal our undiscovered selves. It’s time to cast our childish ways to the side and step up and claim our destiny as men. We must do it not only for ourselves, but the countless individuals who are relying on us to be the true leaders that we are. Be authentic; who cares what anyone else thinks?

Timothy D. (a.k.a. “Ren”)