Monday, October 14, 2019

Today half of us had the day off from PEP and used it for some much-needed rest and study time. The other half of us had Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a class that helps us develop our public speaking skills. In Toastmasters, we have 10 projects or topics to speak on, whether the required speech is testimonial, informational or perspective in nature. In developing our speaking skills, it also helps us gain confidence in ourselves. This confidence will allow us to excel in pitching our business plans at the culmination of this program, the Business Plan Competition. Along with the 10 projects, Toastmasters has also has a topic of the day, which is when all of those in attendance are subject to being called at random by the Toastmaster to elaborate on the topic of the day for 60 seconds. Doing this helps us develop improvisational speaking skills, and it allows us to gain the ability to think “on our toes,” so to speak. This also helps us not to be at a loss for words if we are ever called upon to speak publicly.

In the afternoon, some of us went to computer lab, where we were able to go over our market research so we can better formulate our business plans. We are given business plan advisors who help us with our market research, and what they provide us with is really helpful. After looking at our market research, we worked on our Economics of One Unit (EOUs). This allows us to understand how to find a break-even point on our business and to prepare us to design a sound plan. Today we were able to get stuff done the PEP way: with excellence!

Alex D. (a.k.a. “Bearded Buffalo”)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Today we had to be in class at 7 a.m., so most of us got ready around 6 a.m. Whenever we enter the PEP classroom, we have to make sure that we grab our name badges because if not, we could get a “wheel of doom” activity assigned to us. We then have to find our seats as shown on the white board, based on the number on our badges.

After we were all seated this morning, we prayed in together to get class started. One of our brothers shared an inspirational message with us after the word of the day. Then our emcee went to the back of the room and had to dance all the way to the front. He then introduced himself and shared a few words with us before he told us to “face the library.” We do this when we have a test to take. We took the test on Chapters Seven and Eight in Living in the Village, and I think we all did well on it. We had about 15 minutes to get it done, but that was more than enough time.

After the test, Bruce T. and Eli R. came up to teach us the next two chapters from the book. We really enjoy the way they complement each other when they teach. After they finished, we heard from Laura S., one of our Family Liaisons. We really appreciate what she does for us and how she communicates with our families. We closed with prayer and ended another PEP-filled day.

Jeremiah D. (a.k.a. “Material Girl”)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Today started off similar to any other Wednesday. We began our day with some good old fashioned test taking. This week’s test was on Entrepreneurship, Chapter Five. They did a good job changing up the wording on the questions. We had to use our brains and think hard about the answers. Overall, I believe that we did a good job.

After the test, things were changed up a little. We did not go over the next chapter from the Entrepreneurship textbook, but we did go over EOUs. Tim H. joined us today to give us a well-thought-out and well-presented presentation. He used a model that we all could relate to, and he even broke down the process as well. The Economics of One Unit was very informative, and Tim H. really hit a whole bunch of key points when it came to hitting proper statements. We were handed our worksheets with the information needed to work out the EOUs on our own businesses.

After the presentation, we got our Chapter Five tests back and had “Issues and Tissues” where we had the opportunity to get points back on our tests. We had an 80.4% overall class grade, so we did really well. Wednesdays are the most important days, because we really have to focus on business and gain as much information as we can. So besides a couple of different things, today was a normal Wednesday in PEP.

Gerald D. (a.k.a. “Squid Billy”)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Today we went to the computer lab. Some of us were able to start working on our EOUs while the rest of us were working on our computer lessons. Some of us were lucky enough to get information back from our advisors pertaining to our business plans. We had to fill out a lot of financials, which include pricing and cost of goods sold. For a mobile detailing business, prices would start around a $100 without including extra services. They will have to take care of the inside and the outside of the entire vehicle and hand dry it. All the equipment will cost a good amount of money but will still be able to be paid for with the revenue that it makes throughout the day. Most of us have different businesses that compete in different industries, but we are able to estimate our financials on similar equipment. We can still work on our computer skills by going through the practice packets that we have here. They go over Excel, PowerPoint and Word. We start with the basics and then to more advanced skills.

Then we were shown some videos of some of our PEP brothers who used to be here with us, and they are doing well for themselves. We should all take into consideration going to a transition house because of the networking we have there. At the end of the day, we were all able to come together in the pods and get some studying done. Thank God for everything He does for us.

Benny D. (a.k.a. “Barney”)


“What you believe, you will become.”

This quote has really inspired me to do something with myself that I’ve never done before. I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, and I’ve repented for my sins in order to be saved. I’ve taken it one day at a time when it has come to dealing with everyday situations. When I got to PEP, I was amazed by the love that the brothers had with one another. Everybody was getting along really well, and they all had built great relationships. Before this, I had never witnessed something like this.

PEP has formed me into a new and improved man that displays integrity and accountability. This journey has been an incredible ride, and right now I can’t think of anything that I’d rather be a part of. I have a vision of what I want to do and who I want to be as well. My Lord and Savior is paving a way for me to learn and grow. I know that I can’t do this on my own, and with the help of my brothers I can accomplish my goals. I have to give it all to Jesus and trust that everything I have will be in order and what I do will have purpose. One thing I do know is that you have to experience something in order to learn from it. I want to thank PEP for taking the time to give us everything that will change our lives for the better.

William E. (a.k.a. “Sugar Bowl”)