Week 1

Week in Review

Monday March 11, 2019

Today was the first day of Toastmasters. We had the privilege of getting to know each other more as PEP brothers. Learning how to give a proper evaluation of someone’s speech was another thing our class got the chance to do. Some of the brothers (as well as me) were a little nervous. Making eye contact with the audience is something we all realized today in class is important when giving a speech. There was also some fun and laughter going on. The Toastmasters’ class participants were all in a humorous vibe today. Even though today was our very first day of class, known as Legendary ’19, we were able to experience a new beginning. There were questions asked by those who did not fully understand, and the graduates of the class Redeemed ’19 were present to give us the encouragement we needed and answered our questions. No one got discouraged during their speech. All of the speakers were mindful of the audience.

Something at the end of class today was nice too … Mr. Toastmaster himself got his cheese moved. He thought just because he was Mr. Toastmaster that he was not going to have to give his speech. The General Evaluator’s cheese got moved too. He had to give his speech as well. It was funny as he laughed at his unawareness of time. Just making it through the first day of class today was a positive start for us as the class of Legendary ’19.

 Carnell A. (a.k.a. “Cherry Chapstick”)

Tuesday March 12, 2019

Our PEP class was full of energy today. We got a good start on a variety of topics. First we did our normal rituals such as a pray in, reading the word of the day and “showing love” to someone that we haven’t interacted with thus far. Once that was done and everyone got settled in to start class, the emcee explained the objectives. One of the first things we did was give praise reports to our fellow brothers who are doing exceptionally well or are constantly improving. It really let them know that their efforts are seen and get recognition, which was a new approach because normally we’d just fill out a praise report and put it in the praise box. To do it verbally was really cool. Second, we did some presentations. The most intriguing presentations for me were the naming of our business plans and preparing our jingles. You had to be very creative with the jingle and strategic with the naming, because you want both the business name and jingle to coincide. It also had to be appealing to potential customers and investors.

We also sang the birthday song to Snooky, the Mexican plumber, and Gami J., a.k.a. Boomerang. We are family here, and we like to let our brothers know that we care about them. Last but not least, we had a few presentations on art history and U.S. history. We also got a presentation on conduct and behaviors for our upcoming Think Tank event on Friday. We will be interacting and conversing with our volunteer executives and a host of other volunteers who are a part of the PEP’s extended family. They don’t mind exercising their inner servant-leader mentality to come visit with us and give us vital information and encouragement as we prepare our business plans and seek the road to success. Stay tuned, you guys, because this is going to be legendary!

Vincent A. (a.k.a. “Grandpa Klump”)

Wednesday March 13, 2019

Today was an eventful day in PEP. It started out like most days usually do, praying in and then showing some love to the PEP brothers around us by shaking hands and saying “good morning.” The word of the day was “guard your mouth.” Most of us do not realize the power of the tongue. What we say and think carries weight and shines through our actions.

After that we were introduced to Scott S., a financial advisor who volunteers his time and expertise to PEP, for which we are very thankful. He was intelligent and energetic, and we enjoyed his sense of humor. He inspired us to stay with it and went over the importance of building personal character and humility with the help of God. He also helped us get ready for the tests we have coming up next week by breaking down what was in chapter three of the entrepreneurship book and answering PEP brothers’ questions. We talked about the importance of having synergy within the businesses we have chosen, applying skills we have acquired from our past work experience, hobbies and passions to find the perfect business we would like to pursue.

Next our peer educator, Corey A., talked about how PEP participants are held to a higher standard and are committed to live by the 10 Driving Values, which are: fun, integrity, innovation, wise stewardship, servant-leader mentality, “fresh start” outlook, excellence, execution, accountability and my favorite, love. After that, we were handed business plan handouts that get into specifics of a business plan, as well as our Living in the Village workbooks. We also got our first thank you cards for the event we will be having on Friday the 15th. At the end we had a pray out, praying for our families and all PEP brothers and sisters. All in all today was a good day. Some would even say “legendary.”

Jaime A. (a.k.a. “Lego Baby”)

Thursday March 14, 2019

Today in PEP we sat in our assigned seats, prayed in and received the word of the day. Next, we greeted each other and took our seats. After that two of our servant-leaders spoke about dorms and cells. They informed the class that K-pod’s 10 cell has a perfect cell. Once that was discussed, we watched an art video and took notes. The art videos consisted of a painter named Edward Monet. A couple of things we learned about the painter was he was born in 1832, and that one of his works of art is the old musician mocking of Christ and Olympia. After watching the movie, David F. went over the do’s and don’ts for tomorrow’s Think Tank event. For example, we can shake hands, ask about your business plan and talk to everybody. But some don’ts included not hugging the ladies, bad hygiene and not asking any personal information.

When we came back to class after dinner, Cindy V. and Michele G. went over planning for a project. They got the whole class together and broke down a couple of charts to provide full details. Toward the end of class, they also informed us that they too would be at the Think Tank event. We ended the class with the pray out and left to get ready for the event.

Gail B. (a.k.a. “Eddie Kane”)


 “Be the change that you want to see.”

~ Unknown author

One of the luxuries of being in prison is all the idle time we have. With all the time we have on our hands, it’s amazing the amount of reading we can get done. I’ve read many different kinds of books in my prison life, mostly just fiction. However, the books I most enjoy are the ones talking about positive energy and the power of affirmations. One book in particular called The Secret has accounts of many different people from different time periods who have made a significant impact in the world. It talks about selectively choosing your thoughts and words to alter the course of your life experience. I believe this to be true because throughout my life, the things I truly felt strongly about have come to reality. There is a quote in there that says, “Be the change that you want to see.” Over the years, I’ve been practicing this in my daily life. It’s not always an easy task. Prison can be a very negative, lonely, depressing place. But one thing that has been positive is my interactions with people. Since enlightening myself with the knowledge of the laws of attraction, I have been selectively choosing the people and topics of discussion in my life. I have changed my attitude and what amazes me is how people everywhere I go notice the vibe I give off. It’s not easy to focus your thoughts on positive things or to speak on positive things when we have so little to look forward to. So the best advice I can give is to set your future in motion by thinking, talking and planning for the good in your life now. All things good and bad come through us. You are your reality and future. If you don’t like it, then “be the change you want to see.”

Dante B. (a.k.a. “Damien from Friday”)