Today’s Homework: February 16, 2018.

  1. Please imagine you are an applicant to the FBI.   After reviewing the blog posted on this web site about the personal brand the agency looks for in their agents, please list all qualities and attributes you have which would make you a realistic candidate for the FBI.  Please make sure your self evaluation takes into consideration your social media presence, your physical fitness, and the perception your coaches and supervisors and teachers have of your dependability and reliability as well as your special talents, skills and experiences ( For example, note your ability to speak multiple languages, leadership positions you’ve held in team sports or jobs, affiliation with organizations like ROTC, if you’ve been chosen to represent your school, church or other organization at a special event, conference or Forum, special awards you’ve received or any internship you’ve competed for and awarded.) Please send your well written answer with perfect spelling, punctuation and capitalization, good grammar and short sentences to my email address before I go to bed on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.  Thank you.
  2. Please imagine yourself again as an FBI agent applicant. After reflecting on your personal brand, please identify areas you need to improve upon to become a realistic applicant for the FBI.   Please send your well written answer with perfect spelling, punctuation and capitalization, good grammar and short sentences to my email address before I go to bed on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.  Thank you.

Tdoay’s Guest: The Federal Bureau of Investigations – FBI

That’s right, the FBI!!!

An FBI special agent visited our class today to speak about her experience at the Bureau.

Our Hope Life Skills host today was Laisha Mendez.

First impressions mean a lot when the FBI is considering applicants to the agency.  We constantly observe how agent applicants handle themselves in different situations.  We evaluate their level of professionalism:   how they present themselves to others;  their eye contact, handshake, and their greeting to the person they meet;  how they sit in a meeting.  Did they show up on time?  Do they sit upright and pay attention or do they slouch in their chair and appear disinterested? 

The impressions this class created with me during our introductions today were exceptional. 

I have never seen this level of professionalism at any high school I’ve ever visited.  Impressive”  according to the FBI agent recruiter visiting today’s class.

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Catherine Visono (left) and Jonasia Brown wait to be recognized by the visiting FBI agent for one of several questions posed by the class. For security reasons, we are not able to identify nor post any photographs of the FBI agent.

The FBI recruiter spoke about the application process.

There are intense background checks

of every applicant.  We speak to your teachers, job supervisors, coaches and neighbors.  We do a criminal background check as well as researching your cyber presence;  this means, what you post on Facebook and Instagram and the various web sites you visit. 

We pretty much know everything there possibly is about you. 

Then, we make a decision, i.e. do we want this person in the agency?  Will they represent us well?   Can they be trusted?”

The recruiter spoke about the

importance of physical fitness, a college degree

and the wide variety of jobs offered in the agency. “There’s a strenuous physical and psychological testI went to


for a few months for my physical test and New York for a multi-hour interview by 3 senior agents”  our visiting FBI agent stated.  “Most agents have college degrees. We have agents working in a wide variety of fields.  We have interpreters.  Cyber security specialists.  We have accountants.  Robot specialists.  Negotiators.”  

The agent then spoke about the advantages of the students in this class

“If you meet the academic, physical, and psychological requirements,

the FBI is looking for multi-lingual applicants and the agency also wants to be more diverse. 

This means the agency wants more women and people of color.” 

Today’s class finished with a networking opportunity where students exchanged business cards with our visiting FBI agent.

Today’s Homework: February 2, 2018

1.  One more step to take with your resume.  I returned to you today your resume with my suggestions written on the page.  Please use my suggestions to refine the format and information on your resume.  Please give me your revised resume at the start of next week’s class.  Please use Jessicaliz’s resume format shown below:  start with a brief summary, then the skills you have shown in school, a school activity or job, then list your work experience, education, and then special awards or recognition (if you’ve been a captain of a team or lead role in a play or choir or student council, etc.  Rosa, Laisha and Eveline, list your selection as our class representative at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law and CSI).


Great Resume! Check out the sequence: Summary, then Skills, Experience, Education followed by Awards/Special Recognition


2. There are multiple opportunities for PAID summer internshipsCVS Health. Collette Tours.  Books on the Square have already committed for this summer.   Check out their web sites to see if you’d like to apply.  I am working on getting more summer internships.  You will be competing with other students in this class for these PAID internships.  You will be expected to have resumes at your interviews.   Internships are impressive on resumes AND college applicationsLet me know if you have any questions and are interested in summer internships at these companies.

3.  We have already identified 3 students to represent us in Washington, D.C. this July at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Law and CSI:  Rosa Rodriguez, Eveline Silva and Laisha Mendez.  I just received another donation to sponsor ONE MORE STUDENT.  Please check out the National Youth Leadership Forum web site ( and let me know if you are interested in representing us at the Forum with Rosa, Eveline and Laisha.

Today’s Class: February 2, 2018

Today’s guest was Neil Amper, Vice President at Capstone, a commercial real estate company.   Our host today was Lisanyis Gonzalez.


Lisanyis welcomes Neil Amper to the Hope Life Skills class


Lisanyis introduces Neil to the Life Skills class


Walter Jimenez welcomes Neil to today’s class following Lisanyis’s introduction. Walter has perfect networking techniques: eye contact, welcoming smile, a firm handshake and a genuine greeting – “good morning. My name is Walter. Thank you for coming to our class.”  Ayo Onajide (black coat) and Johnny Ruiz (red jacket) follow Walter to do the same.


Neil begins to share his amazing story with the class.

 “I grew up very fortunate” Neil said.  “My family was very rich. 

We had an 8,000 square foot home with servants who lived in a special wing of our home.  I went to private schools.   We had our own plane.  Went on beautiful vacations.  I ran one division of our family’s company.  By the time I was 28 year’s old, I was worth $10, million dollars.  Until one Sunday evening, when

my father called me to tell me our company was bankrupt. We were out of business. 

Today’s Homework: January 2, 218

Please answer each of the following 5 homework questions.  And, if you have time, please watch the video at the end.  It’s not just about wrestlingIt’s a story about pushing forward when life gets tough.  For those afraid to push out of your comfort zone, who may be thinking about giving up because of life’s many challenges, I hope the story of Dartanyon and Leroy will inspire and empower you to do more than you think possible.

1.  Go to your site on LinkedIn.  Click on “My Network” tab at the top of the LinkedIn site.   Tell me the number of connections you have.  Please send your answer to me in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

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Please check the upper part of the photo to see “My Network”, “Messaging” and “Notifications” tabs

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Please note the number of “Connections” cited on the left side of this photo.

2. Go to your site on LinkedIn.  Tell me the name of the last person you asked to connect with you on LinkedIn.  Please send my your answer in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you..

3. Go to your site on LinkedIn.  Tell me the name of the last person you were notified about through the “Notifications”  tab at the top of the LinkedIn site.  The Notifications tab encourages you to send a note of  “congratulations” or “happy birthday” through LinkedIn.  Please tell me the name of the last person you connected with in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

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Please see the “congratulations” message I sent to Kayla Jaffe.

4.   Yes” or “No” – have you connected with last Friday’s guest, Olivia, yet on LinkedIn?  Please send me your answer in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

5.  Please tell me the CVS Health department you would like to meet someone during our April 12 visit to the corporate campus of the $180 Billion dollar, international company, CVS Health.  For example, I would image Ayo will write something like this –  “Mr Cronin, I would like to meet someone who works in the IT department at CVS.”   Please send me your answer in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

6.  Please watch this video.  I hope it inspires and empowers you to try harder and do what you once thought you could not do.


Today’s Class: February 2, 2018

Today’s guest was Olivia Rodrigues,

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Lisanyis Gonzalez (left) and Olivia Rodrigues meet before class.

an entrepreneur, and a fashion and wardrobe consultant.

Today’s host was Lisanyis Gonzalez.

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After Lisanyis welcomed Olivia to Hope High, Lisanyis presented Olivia with her business card. Perfect networking strategy, Lisanyis!

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Lisanyis introduces Olivia to her classmates at the start of today’s class.

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Janita DeJesus welcomes Olivia with a “bonjour!!!!!” after Lisanyis’ introduction.

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Mariana Guerrero Pimental welcomes Olivia to our class with a smile, firm handshake and great eye contact.

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Olivia begins to share her fascinating story, from her birth and upbringing in the African country of Cote Ivoire until the age of 16 when she came to the United States.

Mr Cronin, before I start, there were many

impressive introductions and greetings.  Janita spoke to me in French!  Wow!

That made me feel comfortable right away. 

She obviously took time to learn about my background.

And, Yaritza had a firm, very professional handshake;  that was impressive.  Everyone had great eye contact and a smile.  I am impressed”  Olivia commented.

Today’s homework: January 26, 2018

1.  Create your resume.  Follow the template that Nan distributed in class today.  This template is posted in the January 26, 2018 blog posted on this web site.  You will be expected to turn in your resume to Mr Cronin at the beginning of next week’s class on February 2nd, 2018.

2. Please let me know, “yes or no if you can go on our field trip to the offices of CVS Health in Woonsocket, RI for our career information day on April 10th.  We will learn what it’s like to work at an international company with over $180 billion dollars in sales; in other words, what you can expect from the company (training programs, good cafeteria, work areas, opportunities for promotion, health insurance, vacation time, good pay, etc) and what the company will expect from you (on time, all the time, hard work, dependability, creative thinking, ability to collaborate with other employees, etc).   You will also have an opportunity to speak with CVS employees working in a job you are interested in.  For instance, Ayo can have a meeting with a CVS employee working in the IT department at the company.  We’ll leave Hope High around 9am and return to school by 2pm.  Please note – WE AGREED, YOU MUST COMPLETE YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS TO GO.  Send your answer to my email address by Tuesday, January 30th, before I go to bed that night.

3.  Please let me know “yes” or “no if you would like to be part of a focus group on Tuesday, February 6th at 9:am with an entrepreneur hoping to create an app that will send you a motivational voice message every day to inspire you to do your best.  Send your answer to my email address by Tuesday, January 30th, before I go to bed that night.

Today’s class – January 26, 2018

Today’s guest was Nan Quinlan.

Nan is the former Training and Development Manager at TACO, Inc in Cranston, Rhode Island and presently a senior career consultant at Transitions Solutions, a private company which helps individuals with their career choices and opportunities.

Today’s host was Nayely Furcal.

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Nayely (left) greets Nan Quinlan before class for Nan’s second appearance to the Hope Life Skills class this year. Nan visited our class on November 3rd for a presentation on job interviewing skills.

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Nayely introduces Nan to her classmates prior to the beginning of today’s class.

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Following Nayely’s introduction, David Ojekunle welcomes Nan to the Life Skills class as other students wait to do the same.

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Before Nan began her presentation on building a great resume, she shared the conversation she had with Nayely before class.  “After Nayely told me she was interested in an interior design career, I spoke to her about the possibilities of owning her own interior design company.  Using artificial intelligence and today’s software, Nayely could help people relocate to different parts of the country by presenting them with designs for the inside of their new homes.   Her clients could ask Nayely to either buy new furniture or use furniture from their previous home to create a design for the inside of their new home: the placement of furniture, where to hang pictures and the placement of other art or knickknacks, carpeting alternatives and lighting fixtures.  Nayely could create her designs using architectural software and then send her designs digitally to her clients. Clients could review Nayely’s designs on their phones or laptops.  Nayely’s office could be anywhere, from her Rhode Island home or from her Paris, France condominium” Nan said.   Sounds pretty good to me, Nayely.

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Nan begins her description of a great job resume.

Your resume needs to use words that identify skills you have that a company wants”

Today’s Homework: January 19, 2018

1.  Please bring TWO sheets of paper and a pen to next Friday’s class.  Next week’s class will feature guest, Nan Quinlan, who will help us prepare a JOB WINNING resume.

2.  Please read the Washington Post article I distributed in class entitled The Surprising Thing GOOGLE Learned About Its’ Employees –  And, What This Means for Today’s Students“.    Please identify ONE SKILL you have that you would mention during a job interview with Google.  Next, please give me an example of when and how you used this skill effectively in the past.  As always, please send your well written statement with SHORT SENTENCES, perfect spelling, good grammar and punctuation to my email address no later than Tuesday, January 23th, 2018, before I go to bed.


Nan Quinlan discussing the best ways to position your brand in your job resume with a previous Life Skills class.


Today’s Class: January 19, 2018

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Maya Taveras Cordeiro

Today’s guest was Maya Tavares Cordeiro,

the Founder and Owner of Bristol Looms.

Today’s Hope Life Skills host was Nayely Furcal Marte.

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Nayely (left) meets Maya before the start of today’s class. Please notice the scarf Nayely is wearing.   It is one of Maya’s scarfs made out of bamboo!!!!

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Nayely introduces Maya to her classmates at the start of today’s Hope Life Skills class.

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Ashlely Charles welcomes Maya to today’s class immediately following Nayely’s introduction as other students wait to extend a similar greeting to Maya.   As you can see, Ashley’s greeting is perfect – a welcoming greeting, great eye contact, a genuine smile and firm handshake.