Monday, July 22, 2019

Today was the beginning of a brand new week for us and only 10 days away from graduation. This morning, we began class with the graduation walk. It’s fun but not so fun to do over and over. Before you knew it, we had already done the walk seven times, and the class still kept walking some more. After we finished the graduation walk, we acknowledged the top 10 GPAs.

The remainder of the class we broke into small groups and finished decorating our Coats of Arms, which will be given to our family members when they come to graduation. A Coat of Arms is basically a superhero with your face on it. You’re able to decorate it to your liking and go all out on it. They brought out the markers and all sorts of different colors while we listened to relaxing music. After lunch, we came back and we decorated a special gift that will be going to our children, using all kinds of different paints and markers to decorate.

There isn’t really much going on this week except for pitch panels for Phase Two and practicing our graduation walk. After class, we went back to the pods to practice more pitches. We are already at the end of this great class, and we will begin leading the next class on their own journey. This is a great accomplishment for all of us. Thank you for allowing us to share our experiences with all of you.

Israel D. (a.k.a. “Sweet Jelly Roll”)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Graduation is only days away, and we are eager and glad to sing It’s Almost Over – for we are legendary, and the time spent has been a song. No other group can claim it, as it was written by our hearts meeting through love, anger and faith, but also hope for a brighter future. We are always willing to give a helping hand to each other whenever someone needs it. Today we practiced the graduation walk, and with each pass we could see the progress we have made. We have to be honest and display integrity over and over again as we continued to walk over and over again. We are past ever trying to cheat again, and we would never think to take another shortcut again, as they were just possible paths we didn’t want to explain and others didn’t want to understand. All we’ve had is each other in this program, and we have truly helped each other grow to walk down a new path in life.

The sound of horn and drums came from the speakers because that’s what they are going to play when we do our real graduation walk. We practiced it eight times today! It fills us with joy as we are all daydreaming about for the big day and how we have put in so much work up to this point. God is a dreamer who never sleeps and the dreams he has for us are always gracious. He has allowed us to dream and live them out. PEP is a place where people who have made mistakes can go and fulfill another, better dream.

They also handed out items for us to decorate for the kids who attend graduation. It is heart-warming that they get to receive the item that their fathers took the time to design. It’s an awesome sight to see. “What’s in front is the future of our mind,” and our future at this point is to lead everyone behind us to a better future. God bless.

Scott D. (a.k.a. “Missing Something”)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Today was very productive for the Legendary class of 2019 as next week is our big Business Plan Competition and graduation. For the past nine months, we have been trying to perfect our business plans to 12-minute pitches, so to get some more practice we broke into four different groups, with about 16 people in each group. Each and every one of us had to give our pitch.

Days like this are days that every participant should enjoy, because it shows how much love we show to one another, due to the fact that there is never any negativity. Even if a brother stumbles, we as a brotherhood encourage him to do his best and push through it. One of our brothers said something throughout the day that goes along with how much love we show to one another. He said, “Throughout this journey, I lost my brother; but I gained 64 more brothers.” That shows how close each and every one of us has gotten throughout this PEP journey.

As the morning class came to an end, we got the opportunity to finish adding our last details to our items that we get to hand out to our kids at graduation next week. Every one of us have been taking our time and putting in a lot of love into every single one of these. So overall, Wednesday turned out to be one of the better class days we’ve had since there was nothing but good and positive attitudes. Now it is time for Legendary ’19 to walk the stage and make all of our family members proud.

Dylan D. (a.k.a. “Little Turkey”)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

It has been a long ride, and it’s almost over. As we continued going on with this journey, we did a lot in class today. It started off as a simple day – most of us wake up at 4 a.m., and about an hour later they call chow (that’s what we call breakfast). After that, we were able to relax before we got ready for class. About 7 a.m., we were called out for Phase Two. We all arrived and put our badges on and took a seat. Next we all prayed in and called our Emcee to the back of the room. Then we got right into doing our pitches that we’ve worked so hard on. We also practiced our graduation walk for the big day. After a couple of times of messing up, we finally got it down. We have all worked so hard for this moment. Believe me when we say that this program is no walk in the park – you really have to put in your time and effort to get through it. We are all eager to be able to walk across that stage and get to see all of the smiling faces that are so proud of us. This will really be a great moment in our lives.

Issac D. (a.k.a. “Ballin On A Budget”)


“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

This quote is very inspirational because in life, you will come across many people who want to befriend you, and you will get most of these friends when you are doing your best and everything in your life at the time is going right. Then as soon as things start going wrong or in the opposite direction, these so-called friends will begin to evaporate, and when you ask for a little help to get you back on your feet, no one will lend a helping hand or even an ear to listen to you and let you get things off your chest. Those are not true friends, but what they are is more like leaches that will suck you dry of everything you have, leaving you for something better. If you do have those type of friends, then I suggest that you get rid of those people as soon as possible because they are not healthy for you. The real friends will be there for you no matter what you may or may not have. They will be there to listen when there is no one else and will always be there to help out. Real friends will have integrity, and when the limo breaks down, you will see them on the bus with you until the limo starts working again.

Darius D. (a.k.a. “Tootsie Roll”)