Monday, Oct. 28, 2019

As we woke up to this beautiful Monday morning, some of us got ready to go to Toastmasters or Computer Lab while the rest of us stayed behind in the dorm. We started our day with a cup of coffee to get our minds ready to do some studying. Some of the guys got together at a table so they could learn Microsoft hotkeys, Excel, and the AP Addendum. The other PEP brothers studied Entrepreneurship key terms from Chapter Six just in case we get a pop quiz.

Around 10:30 a.m., some of my PEP brothers came back from Computer Lab or Toastmasters and we all got our Living In The Village books and started studying for tomorrow’s test. We all knew to study Chapters 12 and 13 because we almost definitely will be tested on what we were previously taught. Some of the guys preferred to sit down at a table and watch TV and study at the same time.

By 12 p.m., we all went down to the chow hall, ate lunch and came back to our dorms to either study or watch TV. David F. or Gami J. came around 1 p.m. to call some of the guys out to go to computer lab and finish what they were doing last week. The rest of us stayed behind and worked out or watched TV. As the day went on, we sat and talked to each other about our problems or about schoolwork. We are all brothers and we help strengthen each other to become better men.

Santos F. (a.k.a. “Droopy”)

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019

Mistakes are a part of life, so we are on a mission to make whatever corrections are necessary to live a successful life. That’s why we went to our financial class today. We want to learn the right ways to handle our money. We all have strayed from our responsibilities in life, mostly due to our concept of money.

Executive volunteer Bruce T. is doing a great job giving us different ideas on how to use money in order to maximize the benefits for us and our families. This week, we are learning about stocks, bonds and real estate investments. Most of us are very interested in these topics and ask a lot of questions. The main reason we ask so many questions is that we want to gain as much knowledge as we can to best utilize it for the benefit of our families. We want to do and be better. We strive hard in order to make the difference.

One concept that we are learning is the power of networking. Most of us are very reclusive and afraid to be vulnerable. The concepts ring true in the curriculum in our Entrepreneurship and financial classes. These concepts are really what we all need to focus on. We cannot do life without each other.

David G. (a.k.a. “Christina Aguilera”)

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019

We started off Wednesday morning like any other day in the week: early. We woke up at 4:30 a.m. to go breakfast and start studying. Everyone is going from table to table in the Dayroom asking each other, “What do you think is going to be on the test? Do you think we’re going to get a pop quiz?” Time flew by and before we knew it, it was already 7 a.m. and they were calling us out for class.

As usual, we started class by praying in and then getting ready for a test. We finished our test, and you could tell everyone was prepared and felt good about it. After our test we were showed a presentation on Chapter Six in our Entrepreneurship workbook by Jim H. He is a volunteer who does a lot for our program. We are really blessed to have a great teacher like him, as he related well about what we were going over to how we can plan to use it in real life. Jim H. teaches in a way that caused the light bulb to come on in everyone’s head; we were all on the same page. Jim H. answered everyone’s questions in ways that we would understand, and he made sure not to lose us while he was giving us the presentation.

After the presentation, everybody felt confident about Chapter Six, and we were ready to get back to the pods and start studying. We prayed out and dismissed class for the day.

Austin G. (a.k.a. “Baby Powder”)

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019

Here at PEP we believe in living a life of higher and better standards. Each day, our class – known as “Vision 2020” – gathers together in a special room that emphasizes PEP’s 10 Driving Values by which each PEP brother lives his life.

We focus on breaking out of our old mentality and learning how to become better men and productive members not only of society, but also of life. We are blessed to have our class taught by executives who come from a new type of lifestyle, but who once shared and sat in the exact same seats we sit in today.

On Thursdays, we usually watch educational videos that teach us about art history and after taking notes, sharing names of the artists who painted the picture and what dates they originated from, we usually watch American history videos. We get a chance to look back over how it all started, before we had cars and cell phones, when small pox and other diseases were almost incurable. After taking notes on both subjects, some PEP brothers attended Computer Lab, where we learn about EOUs, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and – most importantly – how to type.

Thank God for another blessed day.

Jonathan G. (a.k.a. “Tommy Boy”)


“Don’t be in competition with anyone else, be in competition with yourself.”

This is the quote that I wake up and live by every day. It has helped me improve my life so much that it changed the way I think and how I carry myself. Everybody here tries to be in competition with everyone else instead of themselves. I realize by improving my behavior, I am keeping my mistakes in mind in order to avoid falling victim the same thing that always seems to make me fall. If you are trying to be better than someone else, then you’re not worried about yourself and your flaws. You always need to work on yourself so that you can build toward being a better person, rather than just making life a competition – that makes no sense because at the end of the day, all you have is yourself.

When everything is a competition, everybody wants what everyone else has. But it’s not what you have that makes you; it’s you that makes you. I was always trying to be better than someone else, but now I’ve realized I have to build myself first before I fall back into a competition. If you focus on yourself, than you’re not worried about anything. If you are in competition with others though, then you’re always worrying if you will be last and not first. If you want something, you will work harder for it then somebody in competition with someone else. Life is not a race, so don’t treat it like it is.

Clayton H. (a.k.a. “Special Diet”)