Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday morning, the first morning following our Venture Capital Pitch (VCP) event. The nervousness has subsided, and as we enter the PEP room to another session of Toastmasters, we gave each other handshakes, smiles and high fives as we congratulated ourselves, another week down. As we made our way over to put our badges on and set up for class, we prayed in, stopping to give God glory, acknowledging Him for who He is, asking Him to be involved in our lives and thanking Him for all he has done for us through this program.

Kanon V. was our toastmaster today. He has a very charismatic character. Devonte B. was our general evaluator – he is humble but stern, ready to execute orders given to him. We sat around a u-shaped table structure and referred to ourselves as “honored and distinguished guests.” Speech after speech, we have learned that preparation is everything. As confidence grows, the power to overcome is realized. Oh, how fear has lost its place here! We watched and listened quietly to the speakers, only to realize that we are witnessing great growth from one week to the next. We support each other, even though we are from all different walks of life, ages and ethnic backgrounds. All for one and one for all – we will become better fathers, brothers, sons, uncles and members of society. Glory to our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. What another wonderful day it was to be in PEP. We are PEP!

Justin F. (a.k.a. “Little Country Basket”)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Today was a great day as Legendary ’19 approached the PEP room, meeting and greeting each other. We all gathered together for a prayer and listened to the word of the day as we waited anxiously for the emcee to tell us to “face the library” so we could take the Living in the Village test. Once we heard our cue, all of our Legendary class did as we were told. The class was happy to take the test and find out the results back at the dorm. We all got up to see our two Servant-Leaders come up and dance their way to the front so they could teach the class Living in the Village, Chapters 7 and 8. It was really good because the Servant-Leaders taught us about tips on how to select a credit card and a secured card. A lot of us had some good questions to ask and got some feedback on those questions. Every time they teach us Living in the Village, our class gets knowledge that we didn’t have before and also acquire valuable information on the lesson that we can apply out in the real world. Other Servant-Leaders gave us a presentation about marketing, solutions and opportunities. There are things in our business plans that will be upgraded as we do more research about our businesses.

We also had a brother’s birthday today and celebrated in his name. Legendary ’19 had an awesome time learning and being together, and that is what PEP is all about: uniting, having fun and helping one another. As we prepared to say goodbye to each other, we all closed our eyes and prayed out for God to grant us another day of living and for our families to be safe. Thank you and God bless every one.   

Santos F. (a.k.a. “Droopy Dog”)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Today’s class started as all do with everyone in a flurry to get homework and extra credit that’s turned in before we pray in. Also there was excitement in the air as everyone was full of anticipation of what the test would be over for our entrepreneur class. After giving the Lord His time, we settled in and got ready for whatever the day brought us. After our emcee did his dance down the aisle, the class quickly broke into chants wanting the wheel of doom for inappropriate actions. (This writer is doubtful that the debt will be paid in full, at least not any time soon.) Then the emcee uttered the fateful words: “everyone turn and face the library.” A hush fell over the room as the tests and clipboards were passed out. In true stellar form, our Peer Educator did not disappoint as we were given a true throwback pop quiz. This test had stuff from the previous day’s test which should have presented no problems but obviously by the test scores many men were stumped. So after the test, our CEO delivered an absolutely great lecture on Chapter Eleven that was not only informative but also highly liked by all in earshot.

After the lecture we watched a film on U.S. History, which is actually not bad and much better liked then the dreaded art history videos. After the film on history, we heard a quick directional speech from the graphics guy and then prayed out, giving glory to God before being dismissed.

Dustin F. (a.k.a. “Vanilla Pudding”)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Today, we all started tracking into the classroom and grabbing our IDs off the board until there was an announcement made by Gami J. saying that only the men who are going to PEP transitional housing should stay – the rest should return back to their dorms. Coffee was brewing as usual and Gami J. and David F. were speaking with other staff members of the other transitional houses. One of the Life Caddies from Dallas and another from Austin gave a presentation, and our PEP brothers that stayed to receive further investigation and assistance remained seated until they were called. Many were busy filing paperwork and updating information into the computer. We sat quietly and were able to listen to music softly and fellowship in low tones with our brothers. Some were visiting the library and checking out some new books to read, while others were sharing the newspaper articles and drank coffee.

There were fewer men going to Austin than Dallas, but unfortunately, the wait was just a little longer than expected. David F. and Joshua M. decided to help process the men that were also going to Dallas or Houston, which helped speed things along. Our other PEP brothers were listening to music and reading magazines around the library area and continued their conversations quietly. Overall our day ended peacefully, and we had the joy of continuing on with other assignments before waiting too long to do them. We were all excused to go to lunch, and the day ended casually at PEP.     

Jesse G. (a.k.a. “Skittles”)


“People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love them anyway.”

~ Unknown author    

This quote has the most inspirational value to me and carries enough weight to change my way of thinking; it also has helped me grow into who I was destined to be.People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do well, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do well anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do well anyway. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway. People favor underdogs but only follow top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best you have, and you will get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

These are touching words for me because they are so relatable and harsh, but also self-defining at the same time. It touches bases on just about everything you will face coming into that leadership position or transitional phase. Life isn’t always fair, but it is what you make it. So if you are sincere in your actions and intentions, life will align itself with you to succeed. Being well rounded is the quality we are chasing, and these quotes focus and highlight these factors in the most detailed and inspiring way. Those words of encouragement should be a mission statement to be accomplished by us all.

Wilford G. (a.k.a. “Jumping Jack”)