Week in Review

Monday, December 23, 2019

Today we took the last test from our Entrepreneurship book, Chapter 14. We were then given another test we knew nothing about. To our surprise, the next test was actually to our skills on following directions. Many of us were fooled by this trick test and should have expected this because we are not yet done with our Integrity Selling presentations, and this is what the test was based on. This gave us the opportunity to get familiar with all the material before the test. The brothers who followed directions properly were rewarded with 5 extra bonus points on the test we took before it.

After everything was done, we were told to turn in our Entrepreneurship books, and we all felt a sense of accomplishment now that we were finally done with the testing from that book. We are now one step closer to graduation, which is only a few weeks away. We all felt great to be a part of this learning experience.

We also watched American history videos for the remainder of class, which just so happen to be way better than Art history videos that can drag sometimes. It always makes us proud to see how far we have come since people first arrived on this continent.

We ended the day with praying out and wishing each other a good day. Thank God for another day.

Miguel R. (a.k.a. “Sweet Little Care Bear”)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

It was a very beautiful day as we walked into class and found our seats. We got ready to do our pray-in, which we do every morning before we read the word of the day. As we faced the library about to take our tests, we all knew we were closer to accomplishing our goals. After all tests were done, we re-arranged our chairs to begin watching Art History.

The lesson was from a professor at the University of Dallas. Along with Pizzaro and Monet, we learned about Berthe Moriset, a French woman born in 1841. She was born into an upper-class family and had only female siblings. There is a painting by Moriset in 1872, and the painting is astounding. These artists had amazing talent to make such exquisitely beautiful paintings.

The next video was about the Great Depression and the dust bowl in America. On April 14, 1935, a woman named Louise Walton, who used to be a Broadway dancer and actor, moved to the prairie for her breathing conditions. Her daughter Jean had just left the hospital. She had been admitted due to respiratory conditions – over the previous three months, there had been 49 dust storms. It was around 2:40 p.m. when the largest dust storm in American history swept in at 200 miles wide. It was massive and caused Jean to have dust pneumonia.

We also learned that the Romans invented concrete, and Frank Crowe built the Hoover Dam and completed it on September 30, 1935. Joe Lewis was knocked out by Max Schmelling, then on the rematch Schmelling was knocked out in 2 minutes. On December 7, 1941, a total of 183 fighters and bombers bombed Pearl Harbor at 7:50 a.m., which led America to fight WWII against Japan and Germany. This caused America to work together with its allies, which helped pull us out of economic depression. The day after we dropped the second atomic bomb on Japan, the Japanese surrendered.

This was a great day filled with history and joy. Thank God for another day here at PEP.

Michael S. (a.k.a. “Milky Way”)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Today was an amazing day – even though we may be in the situation that we are in, we were still able to celebrate this special holiday. The whole dorm was ready for the movies that the unit was about to play today, and some of us also went to the rec yard to get some exercise and fresh air on this beautiful day.

Once everyone was back, it didn’t take long until they called for us to go get our special lunch meal. We all lined up outside the door and waited until we were able to go next to the cafeteria. As some of us were returning with our trays, you could smell the food that they were giving us, and it smelled delicious. We are so thankful to be blessed with such a meal that it brought some humanity back to us. This is a small taste of freedom that we all crave so much, and we can’t wait to get back to our families and spend some quality time with them.

We then started watching the movies that the unit was playing, and they were all new to us. Everyone was really enjoying the new movies, and we all knew that, sometimes, these are the days that we really look forward to.

The Christmas spirit was really in the air today, and we are so thankful to have spent it with each other. God has truly blessed us with another year and positive people to celebrate this day with. Thank God and thank PEP.

Jamal S. (a.k.a. “Suga”)

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Good morning from the one and only H-Pod! Here we are, the day after Christmas, awakening from what we would call the big meal hangover. We are for the most part up and ready to go to recreation, but since we are on the holiday schedule, we are not too eager to go work off our meal from the day before.

So we all sat around like a big family enjoying the movies we were blessed to be able to watch, thanks to the Warden. Our pod is pretty quiet; as of now, no one has started playing dominoes to keep their mind busy yet, but it’s still pretty early. Pretty much after lunch, we will perk right up and get the day started with jokes and games. We planned on doing a game night tonight so we all as brothers could not be feeling down due to the holiday. Now we have the ones who like to use the phone a lot, but today we are going to try and leave it alone too keep from being sad.

Tonight we all came together as usual and we did our prayer for ourselves and our loved ones. Also, since there was no education nor PEP, some of the guys wanted it to be late night rack up. Since it wasn’t, the night ended as if it was a normal day, but everyone was okay with that and went to their rooms for ID count. God Bless you and your family. Happy Holidays, and may the New Year bring your loved ones home.

Kenneth S. (a.k.a. “Mr. Hanky”)



I want to say “thank you” to all the people who have walked into my life and made it outstanding, and all the people who believe in me – you’ve made it truly fantastic. The very fact that I desire to change is a sure sign that, in time, I can change – especially since I intelligently and responsibly choose to act on ways to honor this new direction. I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly, because I know if I do, then I can expect only half-hearted results. One definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Children do what feels good; adults devise a plan and follow it.

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal; my strength lies solely in my tenacity to live out the 10 Driving Values. I have found personal growth by applying PEP’s 10 Driving Values in my life and so have chosen a quote for a few of my favorites to show what has inspired me.

Fresh-Start” Outlook means I don’t wait, the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command. Better tools will be found as you go, but just remember, “He is able who thinks he is able.”                                       

Having a Servant-Leader Mentality, I encounter another person – either as a model or as a challenger. I never have to wonder why somebody doesn’t do something about that, because I’ve never realized I’m that somebody. Our true destiny is a world built from the bottom up by competent citizens living in solid communities, engaged in and by their places.

We have all known the long loneliness and have learned that the only solution is Love, and that love comes with community and fellowship. For the first time, as a whole, we know what love is.

Innovation is the road to success, and it will always be under construction. Humanity needs a vision of an expanding and unending future. If we cannot envision the world we would like to live in, we cannot work toward its creation. If we cannot place ourselves in it, at least in our imagination, we will not believe it’s possible. Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them; a desire, a dream and, most important, a VISION.

Christopher S. (a.k.a. “Richard Simmons”)