Monday, June 10, 2019
I walked out of my cell in high spirits with the mindset to be great and have a great day. Thirty minutes later, we were called out to go to the PEP room to attend our Toastmasters class, which I had the honor to host. Juan S. gave a wonderful speech about his childhood. Russell W. and William R. also got up and shared their eight to ten minute speeches. William R. spoke on money and the importance of having the vision of wanting money. I believe he gave one of the best speeches that I have heard all year long. Derek C. spoke on meditation and the benefits of doing meditation. He had the whole class do a 30-second exercise that was very effective and relaxing. Derek C. did a great job controlling the crowd and was very informative.
It was hard to follow up behind William R. and Derek C., but when duty calls, I’m known to deliver. I gave my last Toastmasters speech, which was about different levels of energy. When you are in tune with your higher self you learn to be patient with the way life goes. I talked about how self-discipline can elevate your level of energy to acquire peace within yourself.
Kwentin R. (a.k.a. “Wachowski”)
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Today was a fulfilling day for everyone involved with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, and our In-Prison managers were able to oversee another successful day. Phase One participants were the main focus, as Phase Two (that’s us), graduates and the remaining Servant-Leaders helped facilitate the normal routine and engulfed the atmosphere with love and elation. It is common for this type of culture to be implemented throughout the program, as well as with the visiting volunteer executives from time to time.
Before anyone begins to embark the day’s scheduled activities, we always pray-in and briefly show each other love with greets, claps, handshakes and hugs. Then we sit down so that one of the participants can read the word of the day for inspiration and guidance. Afterwards, the host for the class is introduced and has to dance to the front of the room from the back of the room. Once the host begins the schedule, Phase One participants are shown a video from the Robert Lewis Authentic Manhood curriculum. After the video, everyone is broken up into groups so that they may discuss their thoughts about the video. Meanwhile, Phase Two men are in the computer lab diligently researching WikiTaxi for more information pertaining to their business plan endeavors and pitches, and at the end of the day everyone leaves the same way that they entered: in love and prayer! But the love never stops there because we are all committed to PEP inside and out of the room!
Scott R. (a.k.a. “Boogie Board”)
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Sitting in class with the Phase One men brought back so many memories, especially watching the Robert Lewis videos. Father’s Day is this coming Sunday, and we watched the video about the father wound. Our future in America depends on being good dads to our children. Each of us has a story to tell, and it’s very important that we share with those coming after us, because life is not just about me! Dads are either a bright spot or a shadow in a son’s life. We need to reconnect with the next generation in order to close the gap!
Then when we talked about how to be better men even though our situations are messed up. Another heartbreaker was seeing the Fresh Prince of Bellaire video before the Father’s Day video – it was like kicking us in the gut, because so many of us have kids of our own. Being a facilitator helps us rediscover our character and reminds most of us of how distorted we were when we got here. We are obliged to serve now and in the future, and this helps those of us who feel invariably hopeless. Life seems trivial at these moments, since so much time has been wasted, causing the profoundest change in us. The proximity of who we used to be and who we are trying to become can be dangerous if we use our new knowledge to do the wrong things. It would seem super easy to cross over into white collar crimes if our minds aren’t right. This is the reason our lives have to change.
William R. (a.k.a. “Strawberry Cheesecake”)
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Today, we started by praying in, like we do every time we begin class, followed by someone reading the word of the day. After this, we showed some love to our brothers by shaking their hands or giving them a quick hug and asking how they are doing. After we were done with that, our emcee danced down the aisle and let us know what today’s agenda looked like before we got started. Today was test day, and we all had to turn our chairs to the left and face the library. Once a week, we test over the previous week’s assigned chapter, which in this case was Chapter Nine in our entrepreneurship textbooks. After that test, we were tested over the book Crime and Punishment, which was assigned to us two weeks ago. After that test was over, they gave us yet another test, which we were told a few weeks ago to “always read the questions before we start writing the answers in.” We had no idea what he meant by that until we tested today. On our third test, which was over another book we were assigned a few weeks ago, Integrity Selling, there was a question towards the bottom that told us all we had to do was to write only our name and number on the test and turn it in. If we started answering the test questions then we got no bonus credit for our Chapter Nine test. During that test a lot of the guys started laughing out loud because they understood the joke, but while I was testing I didn’t understand what was going on because I was too busy answering the test questions. They got me good.
After our tests we had Michele G. come and teach us Chapter 12 in our entrepreneurship books. Michele G. is a very nice lady, and she has given so much of her time to helping us grow as future entrepreneurs. At the end of class, we had time to do a few “Wheel of Dooms” for classmates who broke some rules (for example: wearing their name tags outside the PEP room). It is so amazing to be a part of a program that allows us to have fun and also works hard to put smiles on our faces. We are very blessed to be here.
Juan S. (a.k.a. “Tattoo”)
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
~ Dr. Seuss
This quote is very inspirational to me because it has taught me to embrace the moment. We sometimes tend to overlook situations at the time that they occur and then look back and dwell on them, saying things like, “I should have done this” or “I should have done that.” I really think this has helped me grow as a person, because I used to always give up on things and people too easily. It taught me that something is worth giving a try, even if you don’t like it; if it’s going to benefit you in your growth or success, then try to embrace it and work through it. I signed up for PEP and went through the first (character) phase, but I really hadn’t embraced changing yet and I quit the class. A few days later, I found myself still wishing I was a part of the program. I talked with a few guys in the PEP family, and they agreed to let me join the next class that was about to start. Going back through the program was probably the best and smartest move I have made. Being a part of PEP and realizing there is more to life than just doing wrong, I will do everything I am expected to do and be successful when I get out. I would like to thank PEP for allowing me to believe in myself and realize the importance of not giving up and embracing this moment.
Kendrick S. (a.k.a. “Cat Woman”)