Hello. My name is Steve Cronin. I’ve been developing and teaching a ‘Life Skills‘ program for juniors and seniors at Hope High School for the past 15 years. The objectives of the program are two fold: #1 – build student confidence; #2 – expand student career horizons of ‘what is not only possible’ but ‘how to make their aspirations probable’. The class introduces a series of life concepts – ‘personal brand‘, ‘leadership‘, ‘change‘, and ‘success‘ – within the context of periods of American history. We also introduce and develop skills like networking, communication, collaboration, creativity, empathy, analysis and inquiry which complement the concepts. I’ve written 11 textbooks for this program posted on this Life Skills web site. Each book introduces a concept and develops complementary skills.
The Hope High’s ‘Life Skills’ class meets once a week during the school year. Most classes are conversations with interesting guests. Our Life Skills guests share personal stories which relate to the concepts of the program and the lives of the students. Whether it’s a story of an immigrant’s transition in America or pushing oneself out their comfort zone to discover new, fulfilling opportunities, the Hope Life Skills guests share intimate details of their challenges and ultimate successes along their life’s journey. Hope Life Skills guests are a diverse group of successful people. From a CVS Health Corporate Vice President from the streets of Spanish Harlem in New York City and an executive manager at AAA Southern New England’s corporate office who grew up in a foster home to a Guatemalan born Hope High School and Life Skills alum who was living on her own in high school before being awarded a full scholarship to one of America’s most prestigious colleges, Georgetown University in Washington D.C., guest stories inspire and empower many of the Life Skills students facing similar challenges.
The Life Skills class also takes students to different places like the headquarters of CVS Health in Woonsocket, R.I. and the Amica Insurance company in Lincoln, Rhode Island or the campus of George Mason University in Virginia and Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Each event, each conversation, is designed to expand the career horizons of our students, inspiring curiosity, developing professional skills for lifetime success, and a subsequent reflection on ‘what could be’.
There are even opportunities to apply for paid, summer internships and attendance at the 5 day National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. at no charge, FREE!
The ‘Life Skills’ class is designed to provide students with the critical skills for lifetime success. The program hopes to inspire students to work hard to maximize their potential in order to fulfill their lifetime dreams. The class also aims to provide hope and build confidence for students to venture out of their comfort zones to discover jobs and careers that interest them. The potential role models and mentors the students meet during their networking opportunities often help students persevere during periods of adversity and doubt as well as providing guidance to make sure our students put their occasional mistake or failure in its proper perspective, i.e. an opportunity to be wiser and stronger.
Life Skills students are taught about their personal brand. Students quickly learn that their future will be determined by their ‘brand‘, the ‘network’ it creates, and the doors which ‘open’ or ‘close’ as a result.
Life Skills students are given business cards for their networking opportunities during the school year. The class teaches professional techniques for building a network of successful people to guide them through life.
Listening, observation, and empathy are critical skills for understanding how others perceive their brand. The goal is to develop a personal brand that creates exciting opportunities for life time success. Each student is also made aware of the other brands they represent. Beyond their personal brand, they’re made aware of responsibilities they have representing their families, Hope High School, the Life Skills program and every person who recommends them for jobs, college admission and internship programs.
The ‘top’ Life Skills’ students are eligible for attendance at a week long National Youth Leadership Forum (nylf.org) in Washington, D.C. where they collaborate with hundreds of high school students from all over the United States on specific topics like Law, National Security and Medicine. Six students were chosen to attend this life changing event last year. Tuition, airfare and accommodations were paid for by several corporate and individual sponsors of the Life Skills program. Other outstanding Life Skills students are eligible for paid internships at local companies learning 21st century job skills. Last summer, four students earned paid internships for Data Analysis, Supply Chain Management and Pharmacy at the corporate office of CVS Health. Other students earned jobs at two of Providence’s top law firms and an area book store.
I encourage anyone with suggestions and constructive criticism about the program to contact me. I am not a professional educator. I was the former President of TWOBOLT, a direct marketing strategy and services company in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I am now working at Signature Printing in business development.
If anyone is interested in participating or donating to our Life Skills Hope High School program, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest in Hope’s ‘Life Skills’ program.