Week in Review
Monday October 22, 2018
Today our class came together as a whole in unity. We all woke up at 6 a.m. to prepare for our first class, which was Dr. Burriss’s Lasting Transformation class. We gained a lot of valuable information on life in general. The most important piece of knowledge that we gained was how to channel emotions and make decisions in an emotional state. What we learned about making decisions in a deep and/or heightened state of emotion is that it can cause an everlasting change in life. Another thing that we learned today was everyone in our class needs change and a sense of direction when it comes to change. With this being said, our class has received important information that we will be able to take with us for the rest of our lives – we don’t take lightly the information we have received for free. Dr. Burriss emphasized how expensive his time and information is to the public. Therefore our class shows deep gratitude and thanks for Dr. Burriss’s time and effort. We are also thankful for this learning opportunity that the PEP organization has given us. Together we will display unity and utilize our core beliefs – PEP’s 10 Driving Values – to accomplish our goals of success.
In our second Toastmasters class, we gained much information on the importance of speech, as well as how valuable confidence is to the delivery of a speech. Together, we give each other the confidence we need to perform powerfully as we speak. Through speech, we can accomplish great heights of confidence. We also learned always to be prepared, because life is always throwing different situations at you that you may not be prepared for.
Kevin C. (a.k.a “Red Raider Cheerleader”)
Tuesday October 23, 2018
Today was a wonderful day. We opened up the day with a much-needed prayer and gave thanks to God Almighty. We were anticipating something good to happen and, lo and behold, the great Dr. Burriss decided to grace us with his presence. Dr. Burriss started the day off by working on our PEP brother Brad W. It was a difficult moment for all of us because it was finally brought to our attention that one of our brothers is in need of our help. After the session, the good doctor presented us with the pictures of his amazing, prosperous life. We all agreed that his motorcycle was a nice piece of machinery. The photos of his home really got our attention. Just by him showing us those pictures made all of us admire his profession. He even told us that one of his customers had called him because his wife was sick. The husband wanted Dr. Burriss to come to California to heal his wife. The husband told him that he would pay him for his normal procedures and also for the travel cost and also a luxury room with all expenses paid. It was a story that we all appreciated.
After class, when all of the questions were over, we did our pray-out and went to the cafeteria to eat lunch. Once we were done eating, we all headed back to our living areas and started studying. As our day was ending, we relaxed and watched Monday Night Football. Afterwards, we said our goodnights and that concluded our day.
Kendrick C. (a.k.a. “Darius Rucker”)
Wednesday October 24, 2018
Today was test day for Chapter Four. As we repositioned our chairs, the servant-leaders passed out the tests. It was time for all our hard work and studying to pay off. After everyone had a test in their hands, the emcee announced we had 15 minutes to complete our test. The allocated time had passed and all the tests were turned in. Finally, Redeemed ’19 could relax. As a class, we passed with an average score of 85. Not bad Redeemed ’19, let’s keep up the good work.
Now it was time for Chapter Five. Scott H. started at the back of the room and danced his way down the aisle to the front. This was Scott H.’s first time as an instructor, but we would have never known it if he hadn’t mentioned it in his opening statement. Scott H. is a natural-born teacher and commanded the room from the moment he began to speak. He taught the class with comical entertainment. We found Scott H. humorous, and he kept us engaged throughout his presentation. The lesson was about a company’s mission statement and the kind of impact it can have on the vision, goals and purpose of a company. Scott H. gave several examples of how a company like Chick-fil-A or Best Buy’s mission statements matched their overall strategy and vision. He also gave us some pointers and techniques on how to create our own mission statements. He told us to keep them simple but powerful. Scott H. then went on to talk about competitive advantages. We learned to apply a resource-based analysis to build a list of competitive advantages. We turned our focus on developing a strategy and applying that strategy with our mission to give us the best opportunity to make economic sense. Scott H. was a true blessing from God today.
When he was through teaching our class, it was time for our Redeemed ’19 brother Todd C. to dance his way up to the front of the room so we could sing “Happy Birthday” to him. Once Todd’s moment of fame was over, PEP’s re-entry team from the Dallas and Austin areas came to speak to us. They conveyed to us how PEP’s re-entry process works. We are so blessed to be a part of this program because PEP will be there for us upon release to help us transition back into society. We know that we can count on PEP and our “Life Caddies” (re-entry helpers) being there to help us along the way. Class was dismissed with a pray-out, and we left more hopeful and excited about our futures than ever before.
Jonathan D. (a.k.a. “Pringles”)
Thursday October 25, 2018
We didn’t have class today, but we all had a lot to do in preparation for next week and our upcoming event: the Venture Capital Panel (VCP) event, which consists of creating a two-and-a-half to three minute “elevator pitch” on our business plan. We need to practice daily in order to memorize this pitch. We also need to show the new PEP participants how it’s supposed to be done. We’ve taken on a new task because the new participants have moved into our living area, and it’s our responsibility to guide these new brothers and introduce the rules and what is expected of us.
Some of us had to go to the computer lab to type out letters to different business advisors, asking for their assistance with our business plans. Otherwise, we all had to read Chapter Five of the entrepreneurship textbook. We also have to read the first four chapters of Be on Your Best Business Behavior by Colleen R. for our Excellence in Etiquette event next month. We also need to read Chapter Five in Living in the Village, which is all about personal finance. All this reading is keeping us all really busy, but not busy enough not to let us get in our study groups to study for our next test, which is scheduled next Wednesday or Thursday. We never know exactly when the tests will be, so we stay ready to keep from having to get ready. By the end of the day, all of us gave our pitches at least four times, giving everyone enough practice to be excellent.
Roberto D. (a.k.a. “Cinna Buns”)
I have read a lot of quotes in my life, and most if not all of them were inspirational in one way or another. There are a few though that I hold near and dear to the heart, specifically at this key time in my life. The first is a quote by Albert Schweitzer and it reads, “Example is not the main thing influencing others. It is the only thing.” What I take away from this particular quote is plain and simple: lead by example. People in general do not desire to follow a man or woman who tells someone else to do something they themselves will not do. Therefore lead valiantly on the battlefield, in the workforce, or in just plain everyday life situations. First and foremost, you must be ready to step up and do what needs to be done. When those around you see that you’re the first one charging in to get the job done – even taking an extra few hours on a project, not cutting corners to ensure its completed properly – they will begin to follow suit.
All of this leads me to think of another quote by Adlai Stevenson: “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” What the man said here sounds kind of goofy when you first read it, but at second glance you begin to understand the underlying message. The cavalry captain who feels he looks funny on a horse has insecurity issues and lacks confidence in himself. If you’re not confident in yourself, then you cannot expect those around you to be confident in your actions. Based on this, my final thought is, “Be a do-as-I-do kind of man, not just a do-as-I-say kind of man.”
Robert D. (a.k.a. “Lois Lane”)