Week in Review

Monday                                                                                                      March 2, 2020

Today was a great Monday! Our class started out with computer lab, where we each were assigned a computer. We get assignments to type into Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It is a lot of fun to have the opportunity to learn some new things as far as computer work. As entrepreneurs, we must be up-to-date on the latest technology, especially if we plan on working with these types of software. Our typing was not the best, but it will improve. We will also gain knowledge with the variety of programs. It is more of a refresher for those of us who have done these types of things in school.

It is good to help each other accomplish the assignments as a group. We get a couple of hours to finish the assignments and the sooner we finish, the sooner we can move to the next one. We do these assignments not only to learn but to see where we are with our computer skills. The computer lab on Mondays is a great way to start the week. It helps us to focus on the rest of the week and what else is on our agenda. It also helps us to stay ready for the new technology that is in the business world. We hope to build many skills for when we start our businesses. We are appreciative of the opportunity that has been given to us here at PEP.

 Ever A. (a.k.a. “Gami’s Cheerleader”)

Tuesday                                                                                                   March 3, 2020

Today we gave our first speeches for Toastmasters. This was project number one, which was entitled “Ice Breaker.” For many of us, it was just that, as this was the first time the majority of us have ever given a prepared speech in front of a room full of people. There was a lot of nervousness when we started, but as the class progressed, most of the nerves started to dissipate and many of the speeches were delivered with confidence. The experience was enjoyable, and we received some positive and constructive criticism about things we were already good at and things that needed some attention and work.

It was a wonderful learning experience, and everyone left with a smile on while talking about what they wanted to do differently next time, and how much they were looking forward to the next opportunity. Even though most of us were nervous before we gave our speeches, all of us felt better after we were done. The feedback we got was received well and we lifted each other up instead of tearing each other down. This is what Toastmasters class is all about: encouraging our brothers as we work on our speaking skills and learn from each other. As the day ended and the meeting came to a close, the majority of us left the room with some excitement as well as anticipation about our next Toastmasters speech. All in all, this was a great day and come next Tuesday, it’s only going to get better.

Jacob A. (a.k.a. “Super Sweet Billy Goat”)

Wednesday                                                                                              March 4, 2020

We started out class with the traditional pray-in. Our Emcee, Tony H., talked about his mother and her health situation. He asked for our prayers for her and his family. Our Peer Educators talked to us about maximizing our study time. We learned when, how and where to study. They were quite informative in helping us understand the importance of studying for tests. Our Peer Educators did a slide presentation on innovation, which is one of our 10 Driving Values. We then went over our first Entrepreneurship lesson, taught by Mr. Carl B. He went through Chapter 3 and gave us a thorough understanding of generating business ideas. He informed us about a company called Entrée Capital that invests in business ideas.

After a question and answer session about our upcoming Think Tank event on Friday, one of our brothers who was released came back to give us a testimony of his success. He talked about events that took place while he was here. He also talked about events that took place after his release from prison. He elaborated on the struggles that he had finding a job. He also gave a heartwarming testimony about a near-death experience that he had. He also spoke on some other personal struggles that he experienced after his release. The best part was when he spoke about his transformation from a street hustler to being a man of God. We had a wonderfully informative class this morning, and we are looking forward to more. We have our first event on Friday, where executives will come to hear our business ideas and give us feedback and advice. PEP strives to equip human beings to achieve their full potential!

Johnny A. (a.k.a. “Red from Friday”)

Thursday                                                                                          March 5, 2020

In the PEP room today, we discussed the do’s and don’ts of our Think Tank event. Think Tank is our first event of Phase Two (business phase of the program), and we are excited. The Think Tank event is where the executives and volunteers for PEP come in and meet with us and listen to our business ideas, offering advice and suggestions to help better our ideas for the end-of-class Business Plan Competition.  We are preparing for this event by writing down our initial business ideas, which includes our business opportunities. The opportunity is what problems we will be solving or need we will be filling. We are also identifying our customers that are in need of this solution. Finally, we show our differentiators (what is going to make us different). We are excited about this part of Phase Two in PEP.

Later on in the day, we had computer lab, and it was quite informative. We are learning Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. We focused on Word documents, which consisted of editing, use of bold letters and italics, and bullet points. We know that all of this information will benefit us with our businesses in the future. All of us here at PEP know that we are blessed to have this opportunity.

Mark A. (a.k.a. “Sweet and Low”)

Expressions                                                                                     

“Prosperity doth best discover vice; but adversity doth best discover virtue.”

~ Francis Bacon

This particular quote resonates with me because it is usually when I am challenged that I do my best in life. When things seem easy and I am not having to focus my energies in a specific direction, I tend to get distracted by less wholesome activities. There have been times of relative stability in past positions that I took for granted, and during that time I made poor choices. When the idea that a safety net exists, I have behaved in ways that are dangerous, with little concern for the consequences. This is how I have acted in the past, but the present is far different.

Here and now, I have my back against the wall. I have burned bridges that will not be rebuilt anytime soon, and I have hurt those who loved me. Day in and day out, I realize that the only way is forward, and it fully rests on my shoulders to make that happen. I know that when the pressure is on and there is no one to turn to, I cannot only survive but thrive. I believe this is what Francis Bacon was talking about. When we are tested and must face down the giants, our true character will reveal itself and direct our steps to overcome any obstacle.  When we are forced to act and live purposefully, what lies within our hearts will manifest itself in everything that we do. When a group of men and women suffer together, a few will rise; but in doing so, the few lift everyone around them onward and upward, that they may all achieve their utmost.

This is what we do here in PEP. We are challenged and face adversity like never before, yet the transformation of our character is unmistakable and profound. That which is good within us will come out and show for all to see.

Travis B. (a.k.a. “The Little Mermaid”)