Week in Review

Monday, December 16, 2019

Today class turned out ready to participate in the day’s activities. We began class with a pray-in by our brother Kalan W., followed by a reading of the word of the day from the Kingdom Man Devotional by Nathan W.

After this we turned our chairs to face the library and took a test over parts 3 and 4 from Crime and Punishment, along with a surprise test over the 10 Driving Values. Testing is always a good wake up call to the day.

After the tests, we were blessed with some presentations over material from the Integrity Selling book we’ve been reading. Richard F. and Jamal S. presented information from Chapter 3; Alex D. and Adan M. presented information from Chapter 4; Mark K. and Brian H. presented information from Chapter 5; and finally, Armando B. and Santos F. presented information from Chapter 6. They all did an exceptional job by putting together great slideshows.

Events then took a turn when Michael S. was asked to dance to the front of the room so he could say his pitch for his business plan for a decking company called Daybreak Decks, which he plans to start in Dallas, TX.

After Michael S. finished, we split up into two groups and practiced giving our pitches in an effort to get ready for Friday’s Pitch Day event. Overall, we had a very productive day in the PEP room here at Sanders Estes as we continue to achieve excellence in our everyday lives.

Stephen P. (a.k.a. “Luke Warm Steve Austin”)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Today wasn’t just any old day – it was a day that fell between two other days. Now that might sound ridiculous, but what I mean is that Monday is a class day for us, generally covering Crime and Punishment or American History and Art History. Wednesday is the day we take one entrepreneurship test and get our PowerPoint presentation to help us prepare for our next test.

Tuesday for some of us starts at 7 a.m. with computer lab. By now we should all be finished with our assignments, but we had two new assignments that we received last Wednesday. We had to write about which of the 10 Driving Values is the most important to us personally and why; we also finished our “Change Poem.” We had to type up our individual assignments and once we turned them in, we got to leave early. The rest of the day we did pitch panels in the dorm to prepare us for our upcoming event.

On Friday, we will give our pitches to a panel of executives who will grade, assess and provide feedback based on our performance and substance. That is why we are so busy practicing our pitches in the dorm with “panels” made up of our peers and former graduates. Our hard work has been leading up to this moment. We will all feel a great release of pressure and a sense of elation and accomplishment once it is all over.

Matthew P. (a.k.a. “Channel Check”)

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Today we were up bright and early. Wednesdays for us are kind of hectic, and we all know that, on top of getting up and taking care of all our hygiene way earlier than normal, most of us will be studying in the dayroom for today’s test. Today was no exception. Flash cards were being passed around and books were being reviewed. In PEP, we have a saying: “Stay ready to keep from getting ready.” It sounds pretty simple, right? The only thing is that it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

At around 7 a.m., we were called out to go to the PEP room. Everyone looked like they were prepared and were about to do great on this test. We greeted each other and wished each other good luck on the test before we prayed in and kicked off class. Then we had another brother come up and read the word of the day to us, and it was very encouraging and positive to hear. We then were told to turn our chairs toward the library so that we could begin our tests. It was so quiet, you could hear a pen drop on the carpet (if it had happened). We were given only 25 minutes to complete the test.

After testing, we prayed-out one of our brothers who passed away not too long after he was released from this unit. He will be surely missed by everyone who knew him. The video we made for him will be sent to his family and will be used as a tribute to what he accomplished here.

We choose to “live between the wings” (on the straight and narrow path) for a reason, and that reason can be anything to anybody who wants to embrace the program. We thank God for this opportunity and all that He has done for us.

Damian P. (a.k.a. “Chia Pet”)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Today we enjoyed a movie entitled Brian Banks. It was a good movie about an upcoming football player who was convicted of a charge he didn’t commit and ended up spending 6 years in prison because of the accusation. He set out to exonerate himself and was able to do just that.

All of our PEP brothers were there, including the In-House Management. We enjoyed nachos and great fellowship, and it was a pleasant day. We have had a great deal of homework, assignments and tests, so that a treat such as this one was greatly appreciated. Thank you PEP for all that you have given us. Words cannot explain the gratitude that so many of us have. We have been given opportunity, the ability to complete and a new way of life. Sadly, too often creativity is smothered rather than nurtured. PEP has created an environment that cultivates creative thinking, and the results are amazing. The thought of endless possibilities awaiting us upon release can be overwhelming sometimes. How could we even repay such a gift? By doing the right thing and paying it forward by serving humanity – humbly, of course.

We have been given an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that people can change. This is a prime example that love covers a multitude of sin. It takes repentance, accountability and forgiveness. We must be honest with ourselves and admit that our internal compass has lost calibration and is no longer able to find true north on its own. By turning our vision inward and truly examining ourselves, we can adjust and position ourselves to head once again toward true north.

Pete R. (a.k.a. “King Julian”)


“A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 inches.”

~ Bob Harrison

This quote was given to me by graduate Kwentin R. after we were given some assignments. It was on a yellow slip, which we only receive when we get homework. I thought I was in trouble, but when I read it, I realized this quote was very inspirational.

I love quotes, and I knew that this one was on growth. The shark will never outgrow its environment – in the ocean, the same shark that grows only eight inches in a fish tank will grow eight feet long (or more). The same is true for us: many times, we are surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do, so we stunt our growth. If you change your environment, then you can attain growth to heights you have never seen before.

This quote has inspired me a few different ways. One of the ways is that I am now aware of the company I keep. I also started picking the brains of the new people I found myself associating with. I am now able to distance myself from people who are not trying to accomplish the same things in life as I am. Even the people that have a horrible outlook on life are no longer around me. This quote is stuck in my heart and will always help me to grow.

James R. (a.k.a. “Michael Jackson”)