Hiatus Homework


I hope you are all doing well during this virus quarantine.

We have an opportunity to come out of this quarantine wiser and more prepared for college and lifetime success than before the quarantine.

Successfully ‘managing time‘ is a skill critical for becoming the person you hope to be. To make sure we are wiser after the quarantine, you and I must manage our time during the quarantine wisely.   Please don’t forget, you’re always competing against other students from high schools all over the United States for college acceptance, scholarships, and eventually, for jobs and careers.  Let me change this statement –  ‘you are competing against students from all over the world for college scholarships and eventually jobs and careers!!!‘     This is the reality of the time we live in.  If you wish to be successful, in any endeavor, you must manage your time wisely.

Consequently, I am asking you to complete this assignment as a way of helping you become wiser and, as a result, more competitive and successful in a global marketplace for college scholarships and jobs/careers.  The goal of this assignment is for you to think creatively and use empathy in your questions to get important answers you are interested in.   Creative, empathetic questioning skills with the self confidence to ask them will be invaluable throughout your entire life to become the successful person you aspire to be.

If you have any questions about this assignment, please email or text them to me.

Please send your answers to my email address by Thursday, April 9.   Thank you.  I look forward to your questions.


Questions Are More Important Than Answers!

You’ve heard me say this repeatedly in our Life Skills class.  Questions are asked to get answers to issues you’re curious about or interested in.  There is no answer without a question preceding it.  Questions ARE NOT ASKED TO HURT OR EMBARRASS SOMEONE.  QUESTIONS SHOULD BE ASKED RESPECTFULLY TO GET INFORMATION THAT MATTERS TO YOU.

“Questions” book cover

Here is an activity I am asking you to complete.   Email or text me with questions which prevent you from answering any part of this homework.

FIRSTplease read pages 1 through 15 in the “Questions” book that is posted on our web site. You can read more pages in the book; it’s an interesting and thought provoking book.

NEXT – I have listed the names of a number of people below.  SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ARE DECEASED.  I still would like you to ask them a question.

IMAGINE – you are very comfortable pushing out of your comfort zone to respectfully ask specific questions to the people listed below to get an answer you’re curious about or that is important to YOU.


FINALLY – Please send the question to ask each person listed below to my email address (stevecronin1949@gmail.com). Please write your questions so I can understand them. I am very interested in your questions.


1. Michael Lastoria, Co-Founder and CEO of &Pizza, who gave away FREE PIZZAS to all health workers working to help others in need during the 2020 coronavirus crisis.     & Pizza has 32 locations all over the east coast of America;  it’s corporate office is located in New York City. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

the reincarnated one, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

2. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th reincarnation of the 1st  Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, who was born in 1391. The Dalai Lama is the title given to the religious leader of Tibet, a once independent country but taken over by China in 1951.  Tibetans believe the Dalai Lama has been reincarnated 14 times since 1391.-


3. Doctor Anthony Fauci is an American immunologist who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force addressing the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times newspaper called Fauci “the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease” __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Harrison Peters

4.  Harrison Peters – new Superintendent of Providence Public Schools – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5. Matthew Buchanan, Principal Hope High School – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
6. Martin Luther King Jr – celebrated American civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner (1964)- __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
7. Melania Trump, wife of the President of the United States, Donald Trump – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
8. Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
9. The smartest, hardest working, most humble, honest, successful Harvard University student with a future seemingly destined for great success who graduated from an American inner city public school __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
10. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company Blue Origin. Bezos, as a young boy, was adopted by a Cuban immigrant living in America married to Bezos’ Mom. Jeff Bezos today is the “richest man in the world” (total worth approximately $150 BILLION), __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. DJ Khalad (American DJ, record producer, radio personality, and record executive) – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
12. Billie Eilish (Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/designer) – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
13. Selina Gomez – American singer, songwriter, actress, and television producer – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
14. Barack Obama – former President of the United States __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
15. Ali Khamenei – The Supreme Leader of the country of Iran. Khamenei has repeatedly defended his country’s citizens threat of “Death to America”.
16. Catalina Martinez, a scientist and oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with multiple Master’s degrees in Biological Oceanography, Marine Affairs, and Business Administration, who grew up in poverty in Providence and was forced to drop out of high school to care for her family.   With the help of a mentor, she returned to school and followed her passion to get multiple college degrees in marine studies.  Her current job has her working on a ship at sea approximately 3 months a year.

Catalina Martinez (seated) showing Hope High Life Skills students video from one of her explorations of the ocean’s floor during one of her month long voyages at sea.


17. The smartest, hardest working, most honest, humble, respectful, and successful Hope High Student with a future seemingly destined for great success __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
18. Sergey Brin, an immigrant to America who eventually graduated from Stanford University to become one of the Founders of Google (Google is an American technology company that sells Internet-related services and products all over the world like online advertising and search engine technology. Google is considered one of the world’s Big Four technology companies with Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft) – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
19. Marta Aparicio – Guatemalan immigrant who left her parents’ Providence home to live on her own during her senior year at Hope High School (2010), a 2014 Georgetown University graduate, and Columbia University International Studies Graduate school graduate in 2020 and soon-to-be United States diplomat serving at a US Embassy some place in the world – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
20. The most interesting and impressive person you have met this year at a Life Skills activity – Please name the person and your question to this person
PERSON’S NAME _________________________________________
21. The smartest, kindest, most successful, respectful, hardest working, African American or Hispanic student with a future seemingly destined for great success at LaSalle Academy  – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
22. An extraterrestrial visitor who happens to come to earth from another planet beyond our Galaxy and appears to you when you are alone in your home. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
23. The most disruptive Hope High student you are aware of whose behavior creates trouble/distractions in the school and, as a result, makes it difficult for Hope High to establish a ‘culture of learning’ for all the conscientious students to learn important skills and behaviors to become the best, smartest, and most successful people they can be. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
24. Jesus Christ  –  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
25. Name a person, alive or dead, you would like to meet AND, then, tell me a question you would like to ask this person –
Name of the PERSON __________________________________________________
YOUR QUESTION – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Coronavirus Homework

I hope you are all doing well during these challenging times. I know you miss our class and the interesting guests and lessons which take place like I do. I will soon follow this blog with a homework assignment relevant to the goals and mission of the Hope Life Skills class. In the meantime, stay safe.

Today’s Homework: March 6, 2020

1      Please tell me ONE thing you took from our conversation with Jeshua Zapata today.  It could be something you learned;  something that inspired you;  something that made you think about the future you aspire to.   Send your answer to my email address before 11:59pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

2.   Meg Stowe, the Director of Innovation at Rocky Hill Country Day, has invited YOU and ME to a special event, i.e.Venture Cafe’s Hack Education Connect on March 19 from 5pm to 8pm, at the VENTURE CAFE on 225 Dyer St in Providence.  Students from a number of area schools will be part of in-depth conversations within small groups about their successes and challenges in and out of school.  Students will lead the discussion groups.  The format will be similar to our FUTURE FORUM. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GOING??  yes or noIF YES, WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAD A GROUP DISCUSSION OF SEVERAL STUDENTS?   More details will be coming next week.  YOU MUST HAVE TRANSPORTATION FOR GETTING TO THE CAFE AND GETTING HOME.   PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GO BY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2020.   SHOULD BE A GREAT EVENT;  YOUR DECISION WILL BE SOMETHING SIMILAR TO WHAT JESHUA DID BY PUSHING OUT OF HIS COMFORT ZONE WHEN HE ENROLLED AT BRYANT UNIVERSITY.  A LEARNING EXPERIENCE.



Today’s Class: March 6, 2020

Today’s guest was Jeshua Zapata,

the President of Xzito, a full service marketing agency focusing on delivering measurable results for his customers through expert, creative marketing using new technology and, as a result, increasing the ROI (return on investments or business success) of his clients.

Today’s host was Josiah Diaz,

who welcomed Jeshua to Hope High School and the Hope Life Skills class.

Josiah (right) introduces Jeshua to his classmates to start today’s class.

Josiah‘s classmates introduce themselves to Jeshua and welcome him to the Life Skills class.

Jeshua begins his story of success from his humble beginnings part of an immigrant family in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to pushing out of his comfort zone enrolling among more privileged students at Bryant University majoring in business, developing a network of successful people, and then fulfilling his entrepreneurial dream by starting his company, Xzito.

I didn’t let my humble beginnings in Central Falls and attending a school with a terrible brand like Central Falls High School prevent me from being the person I wanted to be.  

Today’s Homework: February 21, 2020

Faith Souza networks with Johnny Montanez during today’s class.

  1.   Complete the following NETWORKING SURVEY and EITHER send your answers to my email address as soon as you can but no later than Saturday, February 29th, 2020 OR return the survey form I gave you in class today at our next class.

This survey simply serves as a status report for you to measure your own progress developing a network of successful people you can call upon for advice and support throughout your life.

Fact – most career opportunities in life will come from someone in a person’s network.

  • Name one of the most important people in your present network. _____________
  • Name or describe a new person you’ve recently added to your personal network and explain how this person has enriched your network; explain how this person has improved your network.
  • Has there been a member of your network you decided could no longer be part of your present network?   yes or no     If yes, please explain why you decided to no longer have this person part of your present network
  • Give an example of recently extending yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Describe a lesson learned from a recent mistake or failure which has made you a wiser or stronger person.
  • Describe a recent decision you made because it was the ‘right thing to do’.
  • Give an example of something creative you recently did.
  • Give an example of a kind act you did for a person who needed some kindness.
  • Name the book you are PRESENTLY reading.
  • Have you created a LinkedIn site?    yes or no
  • Who is the most recent person you sent a request to CONNECT with on LinkedIn?
  • Name most recent person you sent a ‘congratulations’ message on LinkedIn acknowledging a promotion, new job, or birthday.
  • Name the person in your network you sent an email, text, or written note to saying ‘thank you’ for doing something nice they did for you
  • What is your latest personal accomplishment you added to your LinkedIn profile?


Today’s Class: February 21, 2020

Johnny Montanez sharing his success story with today’s Hope High Life Skills students.

Today’s guest was Johnny Montanez,

former Hope Life Skills student, 2010 Hope High graduate, and presently the CEO of Coin Theory Media Group, a United States based multimedia production company, specializes in producing Cinematic Commercial Content for business owners across the North American region including Canada and Mexico.

Today’s host was Elliott Burrell,

aspiring music and film producer.

Elliott Burrell (red sweatshirt) welcomes Johnny Montanez back to Hope High School and the Life Skills class prior to the beginning of today’s class.

Elliott introduces Johnny to his classmates to begin today’s class.

Following Elliott’s introduction, Innocent Byiringiro leads the procession of students introducing themselves and welcoming Johnny back to Hope Life Skills.

Johnny begins his story from his Providence Washington Park neighborhood to his personal brand building journey and networking of hip hop stars, film producers, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, millionaire business people, and DOCTORS.

We cannot let where we come from define who we can be! 

Today’s Homework: February 14, 2020

  1.  Create your job resume and send it to my email address by Wednesday, February 19, 2020, using the format below:


Stephen Cronin

15 Andrew Court

Swansea, Ma   02777

401-374-7603                                                                                                                              stevecronin1949@gmail.com


I am a highly motivated, organized, dependable, creative high school student with team building and communication skills.



  • Responsibility; Dependability
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer: Word, Excel, Python
  • Multi-Lingual: English, Mandarin, French


  • Hope Life Skills Program: an elective, credited course introducing and developing life skills like networking, time management, data collection and analysis, collaboration, written, verbal observation, and listening as well as behaviors like pushing out of one’s comfort zone, empathy, and respect for life time success. The program foundation rests upon the importance of personal brand and the development of specific life skills for building a network of successful, reputable professionals to create career opportunities and mentors for lifetime success.  2019 -2020
  • Future Forum: an annual event with corporate futurists from companies like Data Robot, Bank of America, Accenture, Brown University, and Citizens Bank together with a diverse group of students from private and public schools for a collaboration using design thinking to solve problems or create entrepreneurial opportunities.   December 2019
  • CVS Jobs and Career Day: annual visit to the corporate offices of this $200 billion dollar company to learn about the culture and career opportunities within the company as well as meeting with staff members in individual departments to learn about specific jobs (pharmacy, logistics graphic design, merchandising, digital services, analytics, finance, store management, etc ) each student has an interest in.
  • Babysitting: family babysitting and meal preparation responsibilities
  • Subway: Shift Manager at the Broadway, Providence store.


  • Hope High School: Class of 2020
  • Soccer Team 2018, 2019, 2020
  • St Michael’s Church Choir

Special Awards/Recognition

  • Soccer Team captain: 2019, 2020
  • Hope High School Honor Roll: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Rhode Island Honor Society: 2019, 2020

Today’s Class: February 14, 2020

Today was a SHOUT OUT class!!!

This simply means the class mission today was identifying RECENT exceptional student behavior.  First recognition was directed to Lydia Watkins for the exceptional development of her personal brand and networking skills to create an opportunity for a meeting at the corporate headquarters of CVS Health in Woonsocket, RI during the Hope High Life Skills class visit on March 27th.   Lydia will be meeting with the digital beauty team about a 6-8 week paid summer internship!!    Second was Innocent Byiringiro for collaborating with Mr. Cronin to create a meeting with professional photographer, Aaron Usher, an architectural and Fine-Art photographer who shares Innocent’s passion for photography.   Mr Usher will be visiting the Hope Life Skills class on May 29th.  Next, Jarlene Carona for great networking with Camberly Mariconi, a Brown University volleyball player and pre-med student.  Jarlene followed her initial meeting with Camberly during February 7th Life Skills class with an appreciative text message.  Camberly is majoring in a field of study that Jarlene has an interest in.  Next step, Jarlene is planning her ‘ask’ to Camberly;  maybe a visit to the Brown University campus to accompany Camberly to a couple of pre-med Brown University classes.  Stay tuned!    Mariely Brito and Omayra Corporan have been selected to represent the Hope Life Skills class at this summer’s 5 day National Youth Leadership Forum on CSI and Law in Washington, D.C.  While the cost of going to the Forum in more than $3,000 per participant, Mariely and Omayra, if they choose to go, will go FREE OF CHARGE thanks to the donations of several Rhode Island companies who support the Hope Life Skills program.   Mr Cronin also announced he will be looking to select 1 or 2 or 3 more students with great personal brands to accompany Mariely and Omayra to the Forum.  Juan Severino was mentioned today for collaborating with Mr Cronin to get a meeting with Ed Ithier, the Director of Development at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, when the Life Skills class visits the University campus on April 9th.   Ed Ithier was a star high school basketball player at one of New York City’s premier high school basketball programs, St Raymond’s High School in the Bronx.  Mr Ithier was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at South New Hampshire University.  Ed Ithier is in Southern New Hampshire University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.   And, finally, Josiah Diaz is collaborating with Mr Cronin to create a meeting with Sally Lapides, the owner of Residential Properties, one of the largest and most successful Real Estate companies in Rhode Island.  Josiah has an interest in Real Estate and asked Mr Cronin to connect him with a successful realtor in his network.   Sally will be a guest at the Hope Life Skills class on May 15.  Josiah wants to connect with Sally prior to her visit to Hope High.

Jarlene Carona (standing) extends her business card to Brown University’s Camberly Mariconi during the networking section of last week’s class when members of the Brown University’s Women Volleyball team visited the Hope Life Skills class.

David Narvaez (red fleece) speaks with Ed Ithier (left of David in the photo above) during Mr Ithier’s visit to the Hope Life Skills class in the spring of 2019.

Today’s Homework: February 7, 2020

  1.  Please tell me if there was anything spoken by the Brown University student athletes or coaches that made you think about your life NOW or your plans for the FUTURE.   If there was nothing any of the athletes or coaches said that made you think about what you’re doing now or plan to do in the future, it’s ok;  simply write “nothing, Mr Cronin”.   If there was something, however, the athletes or coaches said that made your reflect on what you’re doing or thinking about NOW or what you’re thinking about doing in your FUTURE, please share those thoughts with me.   This information will help me as I plan for other guests and the way I run our class.   Always trying improve the class to make it more helpful to you and your future.  Please send your well written response with perfect spelling, short sentences, and good grammar, punctuation, and capitalization to my email address before midnight on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.   As always, I look forward to your response.
  2. I was proud of you all today. You represented your brand and the brand of Hope High extremely well.

Today’s Class: February 7, 2020

TODAY’S class featured members of 2 Brown University Women’s athletic teams.

From the Women’s Softball team, Head Coaches Kate Refsnyder and Assistant Coach Karavin Dew and second baseman Kaitlin Okimoto, outfielder and pitcher Lauren Long, and pitcher Emily Waters.  From the Brown University Volleyball team, Assistant Coaches Katie Reifert and Eryn Riley and Outside Hitters Camberly and Gabrielle Moriconi, and Defensive Specialist Ashley Oelrich.

Our Hope Life Skills student hosts for this class were Faith Souza, Mariely Brito, and Ambar Tavarez.

Mariely (yellow blouse) and Ambar (right of Mariely) welcome members of the Brown University Volleyball team outside the Life Skills classroom prior to the start of today’s class.

After welcoming members of the Brown University softball team outside the classroom, Faith Souza escorts the team into the Life Skills classroom and then introduces each member to her classmates prior to the start of today’s class.

Mariely likewise introduces members of the Brown University volleyball team to her classmates.

Following Faith, Mariely, and Ambar’s introductions, each member of the Life Skills class introduces themselves to the Brown University women athletes and coaches and then welcomes them to their class.  Katelyn Taverez is shown above welcoming Head Softball coach, Kate Refsnyder, to the Hope Life Skills class as Nehemias Rojas follows Katelyn to do the same.

Innocent Byiringiro extends a warm welcome to Assistant Softball Coach Karavin Dew before proceeding to introduce himself and welcome other Brown University student athletes and coaches to his class.

Following the introductions and greetings, the Brown University student athletes and coaches begin to share their personal stories and perspectives about being a ‘student athlete‘ as well as their transition from their homes in Texas, California, Florida, and Ohio to the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island.  The photo above shows the Brown athletes responding to Ambar’s question about balancing the rigors of athletics and academics while finding a little time for leisure and fun. TIME MANAGEMENT became an important topic of conversation as well as how best to manage the occasional stress that comes along with being a student in college.    “Exercise” according to softball second baseman, Kaitlin Okimoto Kaitlin spoke about the data behind the benefits of exercise and how running has helped her manage stressful times during the year.