From Sonia Malebranche

Dear Mr. Penn, Principal,Teachers,

During all the past years, I have been very shy. When I heard about "The Secrets of Winning" training, I thought that maybe this course would show me how to change, but I was not so sure.

At first, I told myself: Hey, it seems that you are going to spend two weeks of your vacation listening to a certain Mr. Penn!

I am happy that I keep coming because now, I know what I would miss! This course was really great! It showed me three important things:

* to know myself better;
* to express what I think and what I feel;
* to believe in myself.

Thanks to this course, I did a lot of thinking about who I am, where I come from, where I want to go, what I want to be. I learned how to express my ideas and my feelings with confidence, because I know I am valuable as a person. With that training, I learned to talk with calm and confidence.

This course helped me a lot and I want to thank all the persons who have made it possible for me to participate.

Thank you Mr. Penn, Thank you to you all.

From: Marie Ntam:

Dear Mr. Penn:

I remember the first session of "Secrets of Winning". The only sentence I remembered you saying was "when all the 8 sessions are over, I guarantee, you will not be the same.

The first thing that popped in my head was "Yeah, right! "Well I was wrong, this program, within the first 4 sessions brought a better side within me. It made me look at myself in a different perspective, with more confidence, motivation, success, and understanding of my history.

Mr. Penn, your class did more than self assure me, it gave me, a lot of self respect and honor.

I will look through this world with overcoming any obstacles that stand for me, I will succeed and be number one.

I know being different, and knowing that I am different, without comparison, I will not be the average person. I will be greater than my greatest, for myself and my people.

These are things Mr. Penn, you made me realize.

In so many words I will like to say a personal thank you to you Mr. Penn and please keep up your work and I know I will keep my work up.

Marie Ntam

From: Patrick Ayanogbc

To:Mr. Frederick Penn
Ms. Jennae Fisher
Ms. Addie Moeye

Dear Mr. Penn:

Just a quick note to tell you how important and how pleased I am about this program called "The Secrets of Winning" and that it done, is doing, and will be doing great things in my life like:

* To know how to talk in front of everybody (make a speech)
* To know how to motivate myself.
* To know how to develop leadership skills.
* To know how to acquire the self-confidence of a winner.
* To know how to develop self esteem.
* To know my secret power (the Spoken Word.)
* To know how to listen and to speak with power.
* To know my history and my ancestors (what they have lived, suffered, and died for.)
* To know how to break up and destroy peer pressure.
* To know how to have the courage.
* To know the winner^s mind.
* To know how to understand an adult.
* To know how to be an adult.
* To learn how to have good manners and to learn how to be responsible.

By the way, I like to thank the staff which is composed of Ms. Moeye and Ms. Jennae Fisher who had helped this program to be done.

And I also like to thank all my friends who had let me share my ideas and who had let me talk.And I finally want to say to everybody that it has meant a lot to me and that I liked it.


Patrick Ayanogbc

From Kiana Sandovak

Dear Mr. Penn:

I am writing this letter to say thank you. I was one of your students in the "Secrets of Winning" course. Your course showed me how to take more self-pride and dignity in life.

Your course also showed me how to raise my consciousness.When I came to your class I was unsure about going to a new school but your lecturers and movies on famous Blacks boosted my confidence.

By the end of the course, I was happy withmy opinion and now I^m excited about going to my new school. Mr. Penn I hope you go on thru the years teaching young adults like myself that confidence and awareness of my race is important. I hope to succeed in life and without confidence I couldn^t do that.

Thank you Mr. Penn for all that you have done.


Kiana Sandovak

From: Amber Lundy

Dear Mr. Penn,

Walking through the door on the first day, I didn't quite know what I was about to experience. I remember on that first day when you said that I was special and important. I've always believed that I was both of those things, but after the first session, I began acting like it.

The Secrets of Winning built my confidence and self esteem to a new level.
I know that there^s nothing wrong or conceited about being bold or considering myself as an exceptional person.

The Secrets of Winning is proof of my success. It's one of the many steps that I^m taking to be the best that I can be.

Beyond all of that, I got the opportunity to learn more about my ancestors.
As a result, I carry my head even higher and walk with immense pride knowing what my ancestors went through for me.

The media and many people often focus on kids involved in bad things, such as drugs and violence, I rarely even hear about kids like me who choose to take the right direction.

I thank you for being the one to recognize me.  I appreciate your time and effort, and I give my gratitude to you for motivating me with your powerful words, and to all my classmates for make every session interesting.

Know that your teachings will remain with me, and have changed my outlook on everything I attempt to do. The Secrets of Winning are guaranteed to make all my dreams become realistic.

Sincerely ,
Amber Lundy

From Semuteh David

Dear Mr. Penn:

I cannot express to you how much the training has meant to me. You have made it possible for me to look inside myself and learn more than I ever thought I would. The things that I have learned in these sessions are things that will undoubtedly help me in my everyday life as well as in the future. I have more self esteem, my self-confidence, my self image and my greatness in my everyday life to win at everything I do.

I have learned how to control myself in certain situations. I have learned how to make myself heard and how to make myself exist by owning my thoughts and statements.

I realize that what I have is a gift that was given to me by God and my ancestors. I have to use the things that my ancestors worked to better myself. Life is too short. I have to be serious about it and make the best of everyday because I won^t get a second chance. You have reinforced in me that I can do anything and everything that I set my mind to.

I know that I am different. I am above average. I am special. I am Bold. I am Confident. I am me and there is no other. I will change for no one. I am sure about myself and I am not waiting for anyone to tell me how to, because I already know, and as long as I know, I don't care what others have to say.

Thank you Mr. Penn and staff for showing me a brighter light.

Thank you for your time and believing that I can and will succeed.

With deepest appreciation and thanks,

Semuteh David

From Tifanne Lawrence

Mr. Penn:

I don^t know how to start to describe what this class meant to me because I don't really know myself. At first I was not really impressed and then I just started paying attention for no particular reason. I started to realize as time went on how privileged I was to have been chosen out of all the other students for this program.

I began to appreciate what you and the other instructors were doing for me. Although I didn^t participate much verbally, I listened sometimes. The exercise seems silly. Such as when we lined up on both sides of the room and yelled "hey" one at a time. But with each silly exercise I seemed to learn something. That time I learned now to speak from my diagram and another time when we had to look at each other for a few seconds at a time, I learned the importance of eye contact. The "I promise my ancestors" paper made me think about how important their struggle was and why I have to strive to be above average and always remember them.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend these special classes.

Tifanne Lawrence

From: Robin D. Henderson
Silver Spring, MD 20906

Dear Mr. Penn,

The "Secrets of Winning" are aspects of my life that are important.
They help me overcome any obstacle that I face. The values, morals, or standards that I have set for myself to live by are my secrets of winning.

The qualities I admire in myself are perseverance, pride, self-motivation, determination, persistence, respect and empowering myself.

As an African-American female, I need to make sure that these qualities are strong inside of me because they help mode and make my future. They are my very core. With these qualities, I can reach my fullest potential.

The acronym G-O-A-L-S best describes what my secrets of winning are to me. Guidance, from my mother and mentors so that I may learn to make good decisions, Objectives, have a clear vision towards the future in knowing what I want to accomplish, Assertiveness, being bold with my abilities and striving for them and/or paying Attention, because I have to listen and learn from my surroundings in order to do the right thing. Leadership, helping myself and others at the same time so that I can become a role model in today^s society, and last but not least, Self-respect, because I have to respect myself before I can show others respect.

Having all of these qualities in me makes me the very unique, intelligent person I am. They have truly become my secrets.

Thank you, Dr. Penn and staff for all the effort you have put in to our training sessions. The information was informative and enlightening and will be useful to me in my future endeavors.

I wish you continued success in the future.


Robin D. Henderson

From Joyce Wanga

Dear Mr. Penn,

During these pass sessions, I have learned so much about myself.
If it were not for your class, I wouldn^t bethe person I am today.

Now I can really look people in the eye and not become shy or timid. I really open up to people now. I learned a new way to "attack" my problems and a new way to reach my dreams. I learned that talking about myself is not selfish.

In class, I couldlearn my problems, ideas and comments to others my age. I have found a new way to approaching my future. I cannot express my thanks to you and the staff. My self-esteem and self-confidence have risen because of the patience, determination and time that you spent reaching me about myself. Now I know I can be more than the average person because now I am.

Yours truly,

Joyce Wanga

From Alex Peniston

Mr. Penn,

First of all I need to thank you, Miss Maye and Miss Fisher for the wonderful class of you have made here.

To me the Secrets of Winning class is exactly what a person like me needs in becoming a young man. Mr. Penn has been my guiding light for these eight sessions. Each class was well worth three days a week three hours a day.

The Secrets of Winning class has taught me to believe in myself and to always remember that it^s okay to be different. It has taught me a lot about my ancestors and that I shouldn^t waste my life or else I would have accomplished nothing and simply let my ancestors die in vain. I even learned something about protocol and about feminine and masculine energies.

I must admit that at first I thought that the class wouldn^t do anything for me except give me a chance to catch up on some z's, but I was in for a wide awakening. After the first session I couldn't wait for the next ones to come around.

Basically anyone of any age could benefit and I was very lucky to be a part of the Secrets of Winning.

From Nkechi Maduka
Silver Spring, MD 16906

Dear Mr. Penn,

I am writing this letter to let you know what the "Secrets of Winning" session has done for me. The first day I came to the session, I thought it was a waste of time, until you taught me how to speak in first person and how to express myself. I began to change my mind when we talked about Madam C.J. Walker, Muhammad Ali and other people.

This session has helped me in many ways. For example, helping me build up self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect which are important in my everyday life.

In addition, the "Secrets of Winning" session has helped me look at myself in a whole new ay. It has also helped me know more about my ancestors and that I am unique and different and that there is no one else like me and I am irreplaceable.

I want to say a long big thank you to you, Mr. Penn, and the staff - Mrs. Moyle and Ms. Fisher for all your help. I look forward to having another session like this next summer. Now I am proud of myself and I feel great about who I am.

Thank you very much and God bless.

Nkechi Maduka

From: Kiwah Kendrick

Dear Mr. Penn,

Over these last eight sessions I have learned a lot about myself.
This is thanks to you and your staff's keen understanding of young people and the environment they are in today.

You have taught me among other things, how to feel good about myself, be myself, and enjoy myself. This training has shown me that I can succeed at anything I attempt to do. I have learned how to focus myself and be an individual. I have learned how to motivate myself to be a better person.

I extend a great thank you to the staff of the "Secrets of Winning" training program for helping me better myself. This course has meant new beginnings for me. In starting high school next year this course has set me on the right track for the future.

Thank you again.


Kiwah Kendrick

From: Karema Deiley

Good day to you. I would like to tell you what the "Secret of Winning" training meant to me, but first if I may, I would like to say what I was like before I started this training.

Before I started this training I was the type of girl that if I was to be rated on a sale of average I would be below average because I would listen to what people said about me and if they said that I need to improve same of my ways I would adjust it so that I could be what they wanted me to be, I wanted only to hang with my friends and be like some of them. I didn't actually give a lot of thought about myself, I only wanted to be a face in the crowd, to stomp with the big dogs.

Since I have been to the training sessions I have learned a lot about myself and others, especially about myself. At first I thought the training was going to be boring because it was about me. And by thinking that, I thought that I was boring.

I didn^t know the real meaning of myself until I got the definition sheet. The definition given was the best definition I had ever heard of. All the topics and points that you had to give me and the rest of the class were given to the best of your ability. I must commend you on that because with you as a teacher, I have learned a lot and most of what I learned was truly helpful and as I went to each session I learned from your actions as well as what was being said.

What I really like about this training was the things you taught us. Things such as motivation, leadership, self confidence, self esteem, protocol, courage, respect, power of speaking and most of all the first person language.

All those things are brought together now to make me a stronger individual who stands out in a crowd. Of all the sayings which, I have learned in this training the one I love the best are I am a lion lose on the streets and with that I added a part that says hear me roar.

The other is I own whatever I want, wherever I feel like it. And I am the greatest. Those were not quoted, I only put them in the best possible way that I could to understand them. I would not have been able to put them that way Mr. Penn if it were not for you.

I would like to close by saying thank you for all the little things that you have done to make me a stronger, wiser and a more respectable person. Thanks for your patience, understanding and time that you have given so that I may have the best. Thanks for your respect and kindness that you have given to me, but most of all thank you for helping me, become a better me.

Yours sincerely,

Karema Deiley

P.S. I don't mean to sound crude but during the sessions, I though to myself and I said aloud so only the people at my table could hear me that if most teachers were to teach the way you do, more students would have more confidence and eagerness to come and participate in school.

From Natasha Doyley

Dear Mr. Penn,

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to be in this training program. Personally, I think that there should be more programs like this for teens all over. Being in this class taught me a variety of things.

Some of which I already know about, but it gave me a better understanding. Being that I'm a very shy person, you taught me that it's okay to voice my opinion even though there might be people who are going to disagree with me. You taught me how to be proud about myself and love who and what I am. You taught me that by showing me that being different is being unique.

When I first walked into this class, my self-esteem was at about an 85% along with my confidence. Now my self-esteem and my self-confidence is 100%. When I first received the letter in the mail telling me that I was chosen to be in this training program, I wasn't too thrilled. But my mother talked it over with me and she told me I should go. Even though I didn't have a choice on my mother^s part, I^m glad that I came.

This was a fun and interesting experience. I appreciate you taking the time to teach me the new things that I have learned. I thank you and the staff very much for everything. I hope you enjoyed having me here as much as I enjoyed being here.


Natasha Doyley

From Adelle M. Goode

Dear Mr. Penn,

First I would like to start off by saying you have really changed my life. When I entered your classroom, I had been through and experienced many things. But you have taught me and have helped me to bring myself a long way. You have taught me how to say "I" and think about myself first and always.

If I hadn^t taken the time to go through your class, I don^t know where I would be. You taught us a lot about our past and gave us a good idea about our future. You taught me about weight control; and at first I felt offended about it but then I cam to realize that it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks, this is about and to help me.

You have made me come to realize that I am an important person and how to
always hold my head up.

So in closing, I would like to say thank you, and I don't know how many times I can say thank you. But again, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Adelle M. Goode

From Nicholas J. Wright

Title: What Has the Secrets of Winning Training Meant to Me:

Dear Mr. Penn,

At First I didn't know what to expect from this class. I thought it was a waste of time and money. I wanted to get out of there as quick as I could. But now that I think about it, it wasn't as half bad as I thought.

Certain parts to what you said I felt I already knew and didn't need to be discussed. Then I realized that this class was not just for me. It was geared so that everybody learned something.

When we started, everything was a breeze to me and it wasn't until about the fourth or fifth session that the class got interesting for me. The part when you talked about stocks really grab my attention, your insight on how as a race we spent about ninety-five percent of our money outside or our race and that we need to bring more money into our community. Plus we should invest money in the stock market because it^s a very lucrative

Another thing that I found just as important, was when you said that parents should prepare their children to be men and women and take responsibility at an early age. This tells me society as a whole is expecting us to fail in the real world.

That is probably why so many of us are not where they hoped they would be. It is equally important to understand that some people feel it unnecessary to work as a team to make ends meet and make our society a better and more lucrative place.

But what time and ignorance has done, can't possible be changed in a day. Only hard work, determination, blood, sweat, and perseverance now can change
tomorrow's future.

The last important thing I learned from Mr. Penn, is about our ancestors as a race where I came from and what we went through. It is self evident by what I understand that a system was created to keep us subservient and weak. A system that worked so well then that we as a race still carry on with some mentality today. Something that screamed fear into men and brought strength to women, the system was created by a guy named William Lynch. A nobody until he created this system about three hundred years ago.

The system started when a white man would beat a male slave in front of the women on the plantation. By burning him, having horses pull him apart, and break his body to the point of death. So that the women was having a male child would think of what happen and make her son dependant of women.But if it was a girl she would tell her to be independent and not to depend on others.

The adult male in turn was kept away from the development of the child. So that the child only got a women^s perspective on life. Which in turn still happens today. That is partially why there are so many single parent mothers. I particularly think that is why so many people in race act the way they do. But this is no excuse for men not to take responsibility for their actions. You must be in control of your actions at all times.

In conclusion, I thank you Mr. Penn for explaining all this information to me, and I hope you have as much success with your next class and then some. But I leave you with these words: "It takes a village to raise a child, it takes courage and confidence for a child to succeed in life. But the only way you'll be ready for the future is to prepare in the present and never dwell in the past, because you can only control your destiny, not your fate.

Thank you!

Nicholas J. Wright

From Ryan Washington

Dear Mr. Penn,

This program has really benefit me 100%. You have taught me that you shouldn't always relay on your parents to do so much stuff for you.

Also you told me that you shouldn't say "you, you" all the time but you should say "I, I." I really admire your work and ability to help teens and preteens with family problem and other little things. You also help me realize how important it is to be responsible.

I hope you do the same with others because other really need what you have given to me.

Ryan Washington

P.S. Thank you.

From Anthony "Tony" Durant

Dear Mr. Penn,

The Secrets of Winning Course, didn't mean a thing in the beginning but as the sessions started to go on I started to get a better understanding of the course.

When I started to get to know the kids in my class I started t o have a certain pleasure for all other kids in my class. I thought that they had a certain pleasure for me to and in the long run they love more and more because they knew I was special and I knew that they were special to other people and to me.

So Nicholas, Anthony, Adelle, Ryan, thank you for the impact you had on me... I will always love you for the things you had on me... I will always love you for the thinks you have done and the thinks
you do...

Anthony "Tony" Durant

From Anthony Alexander

My name is Anthony Alexander. I have enjoyed this class with Mr. Penn and the others in my group. Mr. Penn has taught us a lot about self-esteem and winning.

The Secrets of Winning has prepared me for my years in High School. Every since this class I feel like I can be responsible. Now, I am not afraid to get up in front of the class and talk.

I hope to take everything I^ve learned from Mr. Penn with me to High School.

Thank you Mr. Penn

From Kathy St. Hill
"The Secrets of Winning"

Mr. Frederick Penn

I have learned many different things about myself and other people through the Secrets of Winning. I learned about my self awareness and the fact that I have no one to please but myself. I^ve also learned that some other people haven't learned that and instead of putting them down I should try to lead teach them what I've learned.

Mr. Penn taught me that I can do whatever I want to and that I shouldn't let anyone or anything stop me. Mr. Penn also taught me that it^s not selfish for me to want to put myself first because in order for me to make value others I must learn to value myself.

Mr. Penn was not the only person to help me realize certain things about myself, the other students also helped me. They helped me to understand that I am my own person with my own opinions and choices of which no one has to agree with.

I learned that I am an individual with a mind and soul of my own and thanks to Mr. Penn and everyone else, I'm not afraid to use it.

From: Vanessa Webb

What the "Secrets of Wining" Meant to Me

The autumn leaves, the weather, and myself. What do they all have in common They change. The "Secrets of Winning" has made a change within myself.

The first day of class I was a little confused, and a bit shy, but this class enabled I, and some other students to open the doors of communication.

This class gave me a better understanding of myself, and where I come from. My self-esteem, and my self-confidence has skyrocketed to a place I've never seen or felt before. My level of respect for my ancestors, and my race as an African-American woman has elevated as well.

I now have a feeling inside that I can do anything, that I will succeed, no matter what anyone says or do to try to stop me.

I would recommend this course to any young inspiring black student. Mr. Penn and his staff deserve more credit than they might get.

I^ve enjoyed over heated discussions, and touching videos.

I^d just like to thank the people who've made it possible for me to have this wonderful opportunity.


From: Sia Dempste

Dear Mr. Penn,

When I first heard of the class I wasn^t interested. It sounded corny. My parents urged me to take it, or at least to see what it was about. On the first day I came and I really believed on that day it would be my first and last time here. When I had been in class for about half an hour I found myself getting into the class. Before this class I never really thought about my best. I always tried to please others and not myself. I thought about myself being different and I thought it was bad.

Every day I saw myself getting more interested in the class. I always looked forward to coming. This class made me look at things differently. This class taught me that I was born to win, to always believe in myself and not to let the world destroy my dreams.

Thank you very much Mr. Penn and Mrs. Fisher, and Mrs. Moye. Now I know I exist in my mind and I^m the only me. And I'm unique. I appreciate you all for taking your time to teach me how to be sure of myself.

Thank you very much. (and this letter was my best).

Sia Dempst

From: Brenda Pratt

Dear Mr. Penn,

When I was first invited to be a part of your program, I didn't exactly know what to expect out of the sessions. I read the flier that was sent to me about how the program influenced other students on the West Coast. Many of them said they were happy that you allowed them to have a program like this and thanked you for beginning it. In our sessions here we heard the same comments coming from peers in my group including myself.

You basically taught us all no matter what the obstacles in life, be they friends, family or administrators, never let them stop you from doing what you feel is right. You personally taught me that being my personal best is accomplishing my goals while setting higher and better ones for myself, that once I begin something good for myself no matter the criticism I may receive to never give up, and if I strive to do the impossible, I will never have competition, so to always continue to do the impossible.

Lastly, with the help of you, the staff and my peers I have learned how not to be manipulated into saying or doing something that would later come to regret. Instead, I've learned to take a stand and govern the situation while still allowing my opponents to get their point across clearly.

With all this new found knowledge of self, I plan to be the best at whoever or whatever may come my way.
Mr. Penn I thank you for giving me that knowledge.

Brenda Pratt


From Damon Briggs

What the "Secrets of Winning" Training Meant to Me

The Secret of Winning Training meant to me that I shall always have confidence and pride in myself.

It also means being different is okay.

The secret of winning means to me never let anything keep me down.

This course has taught me to hold my head up high.

This course has taught me many things, ...most important are, being proud of my ancestors and never forget what they did for me.

The secret of winning is to be successful at whatever you do in life.


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