Monday, April 8, 2019

Today I was an evaluator for our Toastmasters class. I like coming to Toastmasters because I can see that our class is starting to open up a little more with public speaking in front of a large crowd. Today in class, we had Tyson T. as our toastmaster. He made us answer questions about what loyalty is, and I was one of the selected speakers to speak on loyalty. I said that loyalty is one of the keys you need to become successful. You need loyalty to yourself before you gain it from anyone else. It will make the foundation of your empire strong, and you will be able to accomplish any goals you want to achieve. Another one of the questions that Tyson T. asked another brother who spoke was, “What happened to the car and will you ever put it back together?” He said he destroyed it because he was addicted to negative things so he chose those things over his car. He said he used to choose those negative things over everything else, but now he’s a changed man. Alan C. was asked a question about his dogs, and come to find out he had a poodle named Hercules, which was funny but interesting. Overall everyone made their times except for one person. He got clapped down on his 60-second speech, so he had to do 25 push-ups. The most interesting speech was from Jeremy L. on how to influence people in a positive way, which I felt was a jewel to the people that don’t know that’s a good thing to do. Today was a good day – I got better and learned something new.

Darius D. (a.k.a. “Tootsie Roll”)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I knew this day was coming and it’s finally here. Today is the day that we as a class are blessed to have. Our Living in the Village class is awesome. We are Legendary ’19, and we are putting up some legendary 100s in this class too, with the help of our instructors James and Jason. They break the financial life living lessons down so we can properly understand what’s going on. Jason is on his way home, and it was a privilege to learn from someone with so much experience in finance. Chapter Five is about obtaining and maintaining up-to-date estate planning documents. All of this is new to me. Many of us in this room never really had passing away on our minds. So planning a last will and testament never was a reality. Most of us have kids or parents that are still alive, and those will be the people affected if we were to pass away. Lucky for us, we have an opportunity to be able to retain all this information about life insurance.

Chapter Six was helpful as well. Building your credit is very important for those planning to have something when they leave prison. I learned the highest score you could get is 800. A 750 is above average and that’s what everyone in Legendary ’19 should be shooting for. It takes time to build credit. So when we get out, we will have to be patient and live within our means. The average credit score for Americans is 705, so if we could just maintain that, we’ll be okay.

We also had a pray out for Reco W. It’s always good to hear or see somebody on their way out the door. I wish him the best. The brothers had some nice things to say to him in his pray out, especially Kwentin R. – what he shared was crazy and funny but also true.

Robert E. (a.k.a. “Yogi Bear”)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

As we entered class, we noticed we had guest. Everybody was standing and talking. So as we heard take our seats we noticed that we had never seen this man before. We know today is test day so why is this guy here? Next thing we know we all heard those words: “turn and face the library.” After we finished our test, we heard, “We have two guests who want to speak to you, but where do you want them at?” Now the first guy came up and then we saw Victor dancing up the aisle to Marvin Gaye. We were informed that Victor is going to be doing other new, great things that he has been called to do. We found out that this new guy just got out a year ago and will take over Victor’s responsibilities in PEP. So as we were clapping, he told all of us to get up and come from the back of the room. We were like, “Man, he is wrong for that.” But it was fun to see the guys dance.

Afterwards we ended up going to eat lunch but had to come back for “issues and tissues.” It is funny to see different guys go up against our peer educator to challenge an answer on the test. That was a sight to see. So after all of that, some guys said their business pitches, and they were really good. We prayed out and went back to our pods. With that being said, today was a pretty good day. As I like to say, another day in PEP.

Marcus E. (a.k.a. “Dump Truck”)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

As many of you might know, tomorrow is our second event for Legendary ’19, called Venture Capital Panel (VCP), so there was a lot of eagerness, nervousness and confident vibes walking into class today. Our PEP brother Ismeal K. prayed us in with a great prayer to start our class off. Adam T. was next and he read the word of the day full of wise words for the whole class. Our emcees Abraham S. and Victor L. danced their way up to the front of the room and started the class. They just graduated in the previous class, Redeemed ’19, and have been helping us since our journey began in Phase Two. What way to get more ready for tomorrow’s event then by practicing our pitch with our PEP brothers? Abraham S. and Victor L. got the class to divide into four groups so we could have a little idea of what we will see tomorrow.

We all got the opportunity to stand in front of our group and practice our pitches. A few in our group were Roger V. who spoke on his Buck Wilds Ranch and Butchery. David M. who spoke about Triple Trucking, a company where he and his wife would drive trucks as a team. Derek C. spoke on Catapult Consulting, where he can make your $10,000 business look like a $100,000 business. Yes, he’s an IT guy and has been for most of his life. And one of my favorites was Jordan T.’s B.Y.O.T. food truck, because who doesn’t love food? I know I do! B.Y.O.T. stands for Build Your Own Torta. Now for those who don’t know what a torta is, it’s a delicious Mexican sub. We all got valuable advice and tips to help us out tomorrow, which a lot of us needed. I would like to thank you for your time and hope you stay tuned for more with our class Legendary ’19.

Carlos E. (a.k.a. “Cookie Monster”)