Week 11

Week in Review

Monday June 3, 2019

Today we prayed in and listened to one of our brothers give the word of the day. The first half of the class we did Toastmasters. Everyone that had not given speech #7 had to speak. There were lots of great speeches. One of the most memorable speeches that I heard was done by Scott on how to enhance your profile on social media. Christopher was our Toastmaster and did a wonderful job introducing our speakers. Dwight spoke on Dragonball Z. Darryl spoke about Moses; Devonte gave a speech on the book Alchemist. William spoke on Financial Literacy, and he elaborated on how being broke is a state of mind. Once we were done with the first half, we went to lunch.

We came back second half of class, which started out with art history. We learned about French impressionists Eduard Manet, Claude Monet, Renoir, Pizzaro, and Maupassant. We learned that Renoir and Manet would compete against each other all the time. On one particular occasion, they both painted a picture of Monet family. Eduard Manet’s version depicted Claude Monet working in his garden, and his wife and son sitting in the middle of the garden. Renoir just painted the mother and son in the middle of the garden, without Monet. These artists seemed to be fascinated and intrigued with beaches, sailboats and railways. Then we were given a pop quiz over art history. After that, class was dismissed.

 John M. (a.k.a. “Rasputia”)

Tuesday June 4, 2019

We woke up bright and early with the Phase One guys, as their group started at 7 a.m. and we had a full schedule. As facilitators, we had to make sure everyone knew where to sit, where and how to turn in homework and what is to be expected. Once we settled in, we did our pray-in and “Word of the Day,” followed by our Quest For Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis. Today’s topic covered what he refers to as “The Absent Father Wound” and how that affects our quest for manhood. After the video, we went into our small groups and discussed what we had learned. This time is usually beneficial because everyone gets a moment to be heard. Following the small group time, we saw a PowerPoint presentation on the importance of change. To liven things up, we took a few minutes to dance and get the blood flowing. With fresh energy, we proceeded to a second PowerPoint presentation on the character traits associated with the “Fresh Start” Outlook, one of PEP’s 10 Driving Values. To round off the morning, Gami J. gave the Phase One guys a look into his soul with his testimony. Following dinner, we grouped together and got some last minute studying in before calling it a night. All in all, our day was another opportunity to grow and change, and through those lenses it was a great success. Back at it again tomorrow!

Andrew N. (a.k.a. “Vanilla Ice”)

Wednesday June 5, 2019

Today, our class focused on trying to catch up on giving our Toastmasters speeches. There were quite a few of us who needed to get caught up on our speeches before next week. I believe we really got a lot out of the speeches that were given. Most of us were very well prepared. However, there are still some of us who just love to talk about themselves and freestyle their speeches, or make up things off the top of their head as they go along. We can learn a lot from each other just by listening to each other’s speeches.

Our class has many intelligent, artistic and talented individuals. Our combined talents, ideas, vision and efforts are what encapsulate the very essence of what we call “Legendary.” Let us take for example Floyd H., who has a very sharp mind that thinks in technical terms, since he has been a mechanic for most of his life. Mechanics have the intrinsic ability to take puzzle pieces, small intricate parts or images and break those things down like engines on cars or transmissions on school buses. He can tear them apart and then put them back together. In his speech, he focused on the safety, or lack thereof, of school buses. How could he know the details of what he was talking about? He would not have known the information that he presented if he had not been a bus mechanic and worked on buses before his incarceration. So sometimes, that which we consider talents are really infusions of our natural personalities combined with the sum total of all our personal experiences and acquired knowledge that we work so hard to obtain.

Darryl O. (a.k.a. “Dairy Queen”)

Thursday June 6, 2019

Today, my Legendary brothers and I got to work with the new Phase One class to give back and keep the PEP tradition going. The first thing we did in class was help get up all the chairs in class, and then we watched the Robert Lewis video. After the video, we broke up into small groups to go over and elaborate on the topics presented. One thing we talked about was the “absent father” wound. In the group, we all got the chance to talk about how we felt about our fathers and how we grew up living with our fathers. Another topic we discussed was the missing fathers in our households and that the numbers have been growing since 1960. Another topic we spoke about was anger and pain. The pain and anger we have in our hearts come from our fathers in the household at an early age. This was a good topic specifically for me because I got to see the Phase One brothers’ real emotions.

Another topic we talked about in class was about life skills. We talked about building a firm foundation that your life can be built on. This foundation was another good topic. We also got to watch another video called Make You Think, which was touching because it showed what our kids thought about us and how it really affects them when we are not around.

Albert P. (a.k.a. “Hot Cheeto”)


“I might not be somebody’s first choice, but I am a great ‘choice.’ I may not be rich, but I am ‘valuable.’ I don’t pretend to be someone I am not because I am good at being me. I might not be proud of some of the things I have done in the past, but I am proud of who I am today, because I love myself.” Do you?

~ Unknown

This inspirational quote has changed the way I think and has helped me grow and become the man I am today. Throughout my whole life, I have never felt like I belong. I did not feel like I was valuable. I was pretending to be someone that I am not, and I did not love myself. One of the things I wanted was to be loved by my mother and receive attention from my father. So, I became a person that did things to try to get their attention, which turned me into a hateful person. But that wasn’t enough, because not only did I hate the world, but I became so bitter that I even hated myself. As I started getting older, I realized that I had a problem and I had to stop blaming others for the monster that I had become and all of the foolish choices that I had made. I took a class called Bridges to Life, then CHANGES and then finally PEP. All of these classes have helped me to understand that before I can love someone else and before I can even think about forgiving someone else, I must first place all my faith and trust in God. I believe that with love for myself and accepting God’s love, I can then complete the change and love and serve others well.

Brandon P. (a.k.a. “Cat Woman”)