Monday, April 1, 2019

Today in Toastmasters, we kicked started our week by giving our second speech. We had some really interesting speeches today, from vacations to knowing what true potential really is. Toastmasters allows us to become comfortable speaking in front of other people. Our goal is to become better speakers overall, whether we are giving a presentation or pitching a business plan we are working on. Today’s class was fun and interesting, including a funny theme of the day. We have grown together as a group since the beginning when we did our icebreaker speeches. We did five to seven minute speeches today, and we all met our time requirement. After lunch, we all went to the computer lab to improve our computer skills.

Today was a very exciting day that we love to have. We are excited for Toastmasters class next week so we can give our third speech and get moving toward completing all 10 Toastmasters speeches. We all are learning pretty fast because the speeches are getting clear and with no stops. I’m glad we got a fresh start to better our lives for our families.  See you next week at Toastmasters!

Israel D. (a.k.a. “Jelly Roll”)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Today we covered life insurance and how the family is responsible for funeral expenses if there is no insurance. We also learned about the types of insurance: term life, whole life and universal life. We went over auto insurance, which was broken down into full coverage insurance, liability and premiums. We also learned the whole process of conducting your own insurance search and how to do informal surveys of those you are checking into; how not to become a victim of predatory insurance practices and how to avoid those types of predators; how to choose a vehicle that will not take full coverage to insure; and how used/pre-owned cars are less expensive to own, keep and maintain insurance on. We needed to learn all of this before reentering society.

We are also learning about entrepreneurship, as well as key terms and the phrases we need to know how to use. Today we discussed how to design a mission statement: make sure they are not too long or too short; be specific and precise; and remember that customers will be turned off by wordiness. Mission statements should identify the firm and what it sets out to do. Logos help people remember your business as well. The best companies are the ones that strive to serve their customer as much as they can. Overall today was a good day.

Scott D. (a.k.a. “Missing Something”)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Every Wednesday is our entrepreneurship day. We started off by coming to class and turning our chairs to face the library – this is also known as testing formation. Today we took a test over Chapter Four from the entrepreneurship textbook, and it was a tough one. It was the first time that nobody in our class made a 100.

After we took the test, we got a presentation over Chapter Five. One of the reasons why Wednesday is one of the most entertaining days for class is because a volunteer executive comes in and gives us the presentation each week. This week we had Scott S. come and give the presentation. This was Mr. Scott’s second time coming to give us a presentation. Our class really enjoys when he comes because he always brings a fun and energetic vibe to the classroom. Chapter Five was about mission statements. Mr. Scott gave us some good and bad examples of mission statements. He also gave us the mission statement of his successful financial planning company.

After he was done with his presentation, we got to watch the most recent PEP news, created by the media team, which does an amazing job putting together all the PEP news shows – they are always funny! The last thing we did before we finished for the day was “issues and tissues.” That is when we get to go over the test we just took and get to protest any questions that we got wrong. Earlier I stated nobody made a 100 on the test, but we are improving as a class. Last week close to 30 people didn’t make the mark, but this week it was only five. In conclusion, today was a fun and knowledge-filled class.

Dylan D. (a.k.a. “Little Turkey”)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Today we didn’t have class because character assessments were being held for PEP graduates, so we enjoyed the day off. It gave me extra time to do things like get in some much-needed rest. Also, it gave me a lot of time to get some studying in. I got to work on Living in the Village – it is a very good book. We’re learning a lot of helpful information from it. I also got some time to practice my business pitch, even though I need a lot of work on it.  But practice makes perfect!

PEP is more than a program – it’s a way of living. Seriously, when I say I have learned and grown so much since I’ve been in PEP, I mean it. I really try to catch myself when I start steering the wrong way, because I’m better than the old me. One thing I must add is that I’ve never failed an entrepreneurship test. And I am so proud of myself for that. I know that if I study hard and really put my mind to what I want to accomplish, I can overcome whatever stands in my way. By the end of this journey, I hope to be one of the best out there. Even if I stay and remain a “regular Joe,” I will be okay with it, because I know deep down inside what I am worth and know I can and will overcome any obstacle. That’s the PEP way.

Issac D. (a.k.a. “Balling on a Budget”)


“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

~ Unknown author

Most of my life has been truly heartache and pain. I have been beat up and shot, in car wrecks and without food for days at a time. I was brought up in the slums of Mississippi where the education level is ranked very low. Due to this, people become very angry and life is hard when you don’t have a clear understanding. This was a very dangerous environment filled with all the negative things a person can think of. Growing up in this environment was very hard, but God has helped me get through it. He has allowed my situation to mold me into a better person. This has truly made me stronger than before, and that’s why I picked this quote. Life throws all kinds of bad and disturbing things at a person. But if a person doesn’t allow these things to get the best of him, then he can become a stronger person. Therefore when tough times come, they won’t have as great of an effect on you. If I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am who I am and I am grateful for what God has allowed me to become. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Thank you, and may God bless you all.

Robert D. (a.k.a. “Everywhere Man”)