Marta Aparicio Celebration and Networking Day

The Social Studies 2.0  – Life Skills class begins with student hosts welcoming and introducing today’s guests to the Central High School class:  Central High School Senior Alonnie Stoval introduces Marta Aparicio, former student of Mr Cronin’s Life Skills class at Hope High School and now United States of America State Department Diplomat serving in the United States Embassy in the Central American country of Honduras and previously in the United States Embassy of the Asian country of Laos.   Central High School senior, Chris Feliz, is poised to introduce Providence Mayor Brett Smiley to the class.

Central High School sophomore, Henry Pardo, introduces former United States Congressman NOW President of the Rhode Island Foundation, David Cicilline, to the class audience.

Social Studies 2.0 – A Life Skills program teacher, Stephen Cronin, opens the day’s class by reminiscing about his former student, Marta Aparicio‘s, numerous accomplishments:  her emigration to the United States as a 12 year old from the central American country of Guatemala, valedictorian of her 2010 Hope High School class, her full scholarship and her 3.45 GPA double major graduation from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., her Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City, her acceptance into the United States Diplomatic Corps and the fact Marta Aparicio remains a hard working, principled, kind, and dedicated person.

Mayor Smiley congratulates Marta on her significant accomplishments while acknowledging her willingness to help others especially those whose journey is similar to her own, and closes by expressing his appreciation for representing the City of Providence as the person she is.

Rhode Island Foundation President, David Cicilline, reminisces when he recognized Marta’s significant high school accomplishments at the 2010 Rhode Island Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce Banquet and her internship in his Congressional Office while Marta was a student at Georgetown University.

After sharing her personal story from her Guatemalan immigration to serving in the United States State Department as a United States Diplomat, Marta Aparicio answers questions from the Central High School students.


Estiben Calderon, Brianna Albizures Arevalo, and Reggie Castro network with Marta over lunch

Jobs & Career Day: Fidelity Investments

Today’s visit was to the sprawling, Smithfield, Rhode Island campus of the Fidelity Investment company, an international financial services company. The company was established in 1946.  As of December 2022,

the investments Fidelity manages for its clients has a combined value of
$10.3 trillion.

Fidelity operates a brokerage firm, manages many large mutual funds, provides investment advice to their clients as well as retirement services, index funds, wealth management, securities execution and clearance, asset custody, and life insurance.

The mission of today’s class was to provide

information on a variety of career options

working in a large, international, financial services company as well as an opportunity for students to practice specific like skills like

personal brand development, pushing out of comfort zones to
build networks of successful, influential people, storytelling, questioning, listening and observation,
meet & greet techniques.

Travis Escobar, Community Relations Manager at Fidelity Investments, welcomes the Central High School students outside of one of the main buildings (900 Salem) on the Fidelity campus

Students showed their IDs, registered and given identification badges at the front desk of the Fidelity building.  Security was organized and emphasized.

Chevalee Graham takes the initiative introducing herself to Mr Escobar and extending her business card to him.   Great networking, Chevalee!

Suffolk University Testimonials

Undergraduate Student Comments from
Stephen Cronin’s “Personal Branding and Networking”  presentation to
3 different classes at
Suffolk University in Boston, MA
on Monday, October 24, 2022.

Zenas Kennedy: Pleasure as well meeting you yesterday, it never seems to amaze me how small our world is sometimes! I really enjoyed your presentation yesterday, thank you again!


Good afternoon. My name is Audrey Weenas and I’m a student from the Globalization class taught by Professor Huemme. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your presentation on success the other day! It was interesting to hear your stories, especially your student’s success stories. I wanted to let you know after class the other day but I had somewhere to go to. Thank you, Audrey Weenas


Anton Verscheure     (He/Him) 1:18 PM     –    Hello Mr. Cronin, I really enjoyed your talk on Monday. I have always struggled to find or tell my story, but after listening to your talk I felt more inspired. I would like to connect with you because I think you are a very inspiring and I would like to have you in my network.


Good Morning Mr.Cronin! I really appreciate the talk you gave to the Strategic Management class at Suffolk University on Monday.   It was something I needed to hear as a first generation college student. Thank you again, Sir.    Have a blessed day! –   Elizabeth Gezehagn


Hello, my name is Talia Fusco. I was in Professor Huemme’s class at Suffolk University today. I’m reaching out in regard to your lecture. You probably hear this often, but I am positive not often enough. Today my entire outlook on what it means to function in the business world changed. I grew up in a close-minded space, confined to doing only what I was told because I thought that only like-minded people would be able to thrive.  People were always fixated on what they needed to do to avoid the inevitable criticism of the world, barely scratching the surface of real human connection, and discarding anything deeper than what the eye can see. My perception was almost as if a majority of people are proud to be shallow, to lack personal connection, or a burning passion for anything. I thoroughly enjoyed the real-world examples in your presentation and showcasing the growth of people with a drive for success. I now, more than ever, understand the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone and establishing a personal brand. Starting November I will be working for a franchise, having creative control over the entirety of their media platforms, managing and furthering the brand; I’ve been extremely skeptical about taking on a responsibility as big as this one, as it is my first real world business experience.  I believe this new information and way of thinking peaked my confidence immensely and will enable me to accomplish great things moving forward. I hope that what you do continues to change young minds’ perspective for years to come because I certainly needed a push in this direction. Today was awesome and I will never forget this experience. Thank you so much. Best,    Talia


Hello Mr Cronin.   I’m Shonette Crossdale.   We spoke yesterday in my strategic management class you presented for Professor Robert Huemme.  I really wanted to thank you again for your presentation.  It was really uplifting and left me feeling more confident about my career path and I’m taking the right steps to get where I want to be in the future.   I’ve tried looking for you on LinkedIn to remain connected but unfortunately, I was unable to find you in the searches. I also wanted to connect with you in the hopes you could help me find an entry-level job after I graduate in December and network with people who work in high-level positions in their marketing roles.   I’m looking forward to meeting with you again, have a great week!    Shonette C.

Hello Mr. Cronin.   I hope this message finds you doing well. I wanted to thank you again for coming into our class and relaying such a powerful message. I really enjoyed learning about different ways of networking and how to successfully make a positive impression. I learned a lot of useful information concerning personal brand and how to effectively establish my own personal brand. I will be applying the lessons learned from this presentation to my skill set to maximize potential. Thank you for the lessons learned.      Best,  Corey Frassica


Greetings Mr. Cronin.    This is James Auger, the Indonesian American senior at Suffolk University and we spoke about connecting more after class. I just wanted to say thank you for coming to talk to us yesterday in Professor Huemme’s class, it was very enlightening to learn about the importance of soft skills and how important networking is. My dad’s name is Mark Auger, Director of Commercialization in shoes at Under Armour, if your son would like to connect with him or if he knows about him.


I researched Tino Chow and Donna Mumma and they are both amazing people! Tino Chow especially is a very interesting person and has a fascinating outlook on life goals and aspirations where it can be broken down to a science experiment. Giant Shoulders is also a great company with a very positive look towards branding and I like how they are working with very ethical organizations like health and wellness companies, clean energy initiatives, and education.   I would love to connect with either of them and talk more about what they do and maybe ask them for some advice on how I can better myself as a digital marketer and what skills I should be learning.  Thank you for your time Mr. Cronin and thank you again for the knowledge I’ve gained from your speech.

Sincerely – James Auger:  Digital Marketing Major, Suffolk University Senior

Hi Mr Cronin.    I just wanted to say thank you for coming to our class yesterday! I’m sorry I didn’t get to speak to you for longer afterwards, I had another class to run to. You gave a very motivating presentation and really got me fired up about my future. I’m interested in sales and real estate and have a dream of using sales to pursue my passion in real estate investing. I noticed you work in the printing industry, my father does as well and always talks to me about what he has going on at his work. I wish you the very best and once again, thank you so so much for taking time out of your day to come speak to us! It’s very much appreciated.

Best,     Christopher McCann

Greetings, Mr. Cronin.    My name is Omar Elharezi. I was in Mr. Huemme’s class where you gave a presentation earlier today. I am the student from the UAE and was ironically wearing the Yankee cap. I just wanted to let you know that I immensely enjoyed your presentation, specifically the emphasis you placed on making and nurturing connections. It’s been on my mind the whole day. I often find myself in rooms or within reach of influential people in the business world, primarily because my sister owns various companies throughout the Middle East, and she occasionally allows me to tag along to meetings with her. Last year I had the opportunity to chat with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, A chairman of Aramco, and I regrettably didn’t exchange information even though we had a pleasant conversation. It is frustrating that I am often in a direct position to make connections with people who others may have to wait long periods even to have the chance to talk to, but don’t take advantage of it. The ties that I do have, I am bad at keeping in touch and holding on to them. Your presentation was fascinating because it covered an issue I often try to improve. I was hoping to draw on your experiences a little more through an email or phone call regarding enhancing the skills and qualities needed to secure potential connections and keep them close. It’s clear that you are well experienced in making and maintaining relations, and I would greatly appreciate it if you could dive a bit deeper into it with me. I apologize for the lengthy email; I just haven’t been this enthusiastic about a class in a very long time. I would love to learn more from you whenever you may have the time.

Best Regards,   Omar Elharezi


Mr. Cronin.   Good morning, I am Rex Yip! Thank you so much for coming in yesterday during my SIB-101 Globalization class and having such an amazing lesson for us.     Here is my email address: I am currently seeking internship opportunities, so if you have any information, feel free to email me.     Also, do you mind sending me a link for your LinkedIn account? Because I was having a tough time finding it. And my LinkedIn account currently is in progress, once that is finished, I will contact you on LinkedIn.   Thank you again and have a great day!    Best regards,   Rex Yip


Gabriel Lebold (He/Him) 10:41 AM  –   You spoke in Professor Huemme’s class on Monday. You seem like an amazing mentor and teacher to learn from and I’d love to connect more for the future.


Hi Mr Cronin.   This is Ella Gesmundo, I met you at the end of Professor Huemmes class today. I wanted to start with saying again that it was so great to meet you. You had mentioned a friend of yours, Sally Lapides, that was in real estate. I brought up that I’m in the mix of getting my license and was just wondering if you had some more information on Sally. Along with that I would love to get your LinkedIn.  I hope to hear from you soon and to keep in touch for the future! Take care!   Ella Gesmundo,  Marketing,  Suffolk University, Class of 2026, Boston, MA

Good Afternoon Mr. Cronin.   Thank you again for your presentation to our class about the importance of networking and self awareness of our personal brand.  Everything you said was incredibly impactful and your students are incredibly fortunate to have you as a resource. Your presence and storytelling are characteristics that I hope to someday possess. I will nurture the relationships I build in the future and am excited to reinforce the soft skills we went over in class today. It was a pleasure to meet you today.     Best Regards,  Boston Emmanuel, Accounting, Senior,  Suffolk University

Hello Mr. Cronin.    I am a student at Suffolk University. I wanted to personally thank you for your presentation and for taking the time to speak with my class and me. I was very impressed by your career path and inspired by your dedication to your students. I hope to talk again soon. Thank you!   Franceska Lucaj –    Undergraduate Student at Suffolk University – Sawyer Business School,  North Kingstown, Rhode Island, United States






The Social Studies 2.0 – Life Skills class  – mantra has and continues to be





Today’s class featured a panel of successful professionals
from a diverse field of professions:
medicine, counseling, psychology, engineering, higher education, and administration.

Today’s Panel of Successful, Influential professionals

The class began with each panelist introducing themself with a brief story of where they’re from and the success they now enjoy and concluded with NETWORKING among guests and students over a catered LUNCH.

Central High School senior, Alonnie Stoval, exchanges her business card with Doctor Jamall Pollock, Associate Dean at Brown University.

Victoria Mealer-Flowers is the Student-Athlete Development Senior Manager, Community Engagement and DEI programs at Brown University networking with Central High School senior Henry Pardo and Nurisbel Santana as Alonnie Stoval joins their conversation during the networking lunch.

Engineer Yemi Onipede networks with a ‘fist bump’ with Angel and Diego Cortez while Central High School senior Chris Feliz looks to Hamid Akinfolarin, a Civil Engineer.

Doctor Yvorn Aswad, medical doctor who received his degree from UCLA and a native of South Central Los Angeles who now makes his home in Providence, Rhode Island, shares his personal story with the Central High students.

Luckson Omoaregba, the Director of Pathway Programs at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, networks with Central High School seniors Chris Feliz and Angel.

Here’s a more complete biography of each member of our Professionals panel:

Central High School Students’ Great Impression at the 2023 Women’s Summit at Bryant University

10 Central High School Women were warmly welcomed and continuously engaged in networking conversations during this year’s Women’s Summit® presented by Bryant University on Thursday, March 16, 2023 by the more than 1,000 successful women professionals in attendance. The Summit, sponsored by several regional and national corporations including Platinum Sponsor Amica Insurance and Diamond Sponsors Bank of America and Fidelity Investments, focused on the theme of “Moving Forward Together: Me, We, Us”.

Doctor Daria Long, Harvard and Yale trained Emergency physician, national television contributor (CNN) and TEDx Speaker, networks with Central High School student Alonnie Stoval and her fellow Central High classmates following Dr Long’s Keynote address.

The 10 Central High School women were introduced to the Women’s Summit attendees by Central High School volunteer Life Skills teacher, Stephen Cronin, an account executive at Signature Printing in East Providence, Rhode Island. Mr Cronin introduced his 10 Central High School students to the entire Women’s Summit audience following the Women’s Summit’s Opening Keynote address by Sally Helgesen, one of the world’s premier experts on women’s leadership and an international best-selling author, speaker and leadership coach. After Mr Cronin asked his students to stand to be recognized at their assigned tables in the Women’s Summit auditorium, he thanked the Women’s Summit leaders for inviting the Central High women and asked the professional women in the audience to PLEASE network with these “10 remarkable Central High School women. This is why we’re here! Each student has their business cards and they’re eager to network with you. We’re hoping you’ll take time out of your busy day to share the wisdom that’s enabled you to be the success you are today”.

Stephen Cronin introduces his 10 Central High School students and presents a sample of his students’ business cards to the 1,000 women attendees at the Women’s Summit.

Central High School women respond to the applause from the Women’s Summit audience.

Women’s Summit attendees responded by approaching the 10 Central High students, in-between and after the Women’s Summit workshops and presentations, with introductions, greetings, an exchange of business cards, and rich conversations about their stories of hard earned success.

Central High School student, Carolee Salas, and Lisa Dandeneau, the President of Navigant Bank, at the 2023 Women’s Summit.


Central High School Class President, Ida Faye, exchanges business cards with Leah Wood, Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Verathon Company.

It was wonderful meeting such impressive young women at the Women’s Summit” observed Michelle Felizzola, Senior Assistant Director of Admission for Multicultural Recruitment, Bryant University. “I’ve received so many positive messages about how engaging the Central High School students were today. So professional. Impressive.” from Mailee Kue, Ph.D, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs & Title IX Coordinator, Bryant University.I was able to speak with the amazing Central High students for few minutes. It only takes that long to see how impressive they are!” Allyson Antin, Corporate Sales – Marriott Hotels.

Central High School student Chevalee Graham, gets a selfie with supermodel and business woman, Beverly Johnson, the first African-American Supermodel, AND the Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO of Beverly Johnson Enterprises.   Central High School senior Mikaiya Johnson, waits to do the same with Ms Johnson.

Central High School sophomore, Rexella Bishop, networks with Ms Rita Williams-Bogar, Bryant University Trustee and President and CEO of Personal Development Solutions following Ms Willaims -Bogar’s presentation.

Hope Life Skills Moves To East Providence

A 21st Century Marketing Forum

Stephen Cronin Opens “A 21st Century Marketing Forum” at East Providence High School on April 1, 2022

More than 30 students from East Providence High School, 2 student athletes from Providence College as well as 15 marketing professionals from a diverse number of companies came together on Friday, April 1, from 9:am to noon in the East Providence High School auditorium to discuss 21st century marketing strategies and tactics in a global marketplace as well as present students with several career opportunities related to the ‘marketing’ industry. The event was part of the College, Career, and Life program Stephen Cronin teaches as a volunteer at East Providence High School. He taught this same curriculum, as a volunteer teacher, at Hope High School for 18 years (

Marketing strategists, graphic designers, data analysts, web site architects, offset, digital, and large format print managers from companies like Fidelity Investments, CVS Health, Signature Printing, Giant Shoulders, Vector North America, MSCHF, Working Planet, Third Effect Marketing and Design, and Nunez -The People’s Agency entertained student questions as well as providing East Providence High School juniors and seniors with best marketing practices for creating, promoting, and exploiting student personal brands for lifetime success.

(left) Soren Ryherd, Co-Founder and President of Working Planet;  (center) Nick DeCesare, President of Third Effect Marketing and Design;  (right)  Anna Barcelos, Director of Marketing Vector North America.

The Marketing Panel provided students with a contemporary definition of ‘marketing, descriptions of marketing related careers, and a fundamental marketing strategy for promoting and protecting student PERSONAL BRANDS, especially on social media, in order to build a NETWORK of successful, influential people who can provide them advice and support as they prepare to compete in a global markplace for career and successful lives.  The marketers also entertained student questions about their career paths, from challenges and opportunities, as well as ‘PERSONAL BRAND marketing strategies and the life long value and importance of ‘NETWORKS’.  The Marketing professionals attempted to instill a feeling of empowerment among the students, inspiring them to be confident to push out of their comfort zones to ask questions, meet new people from diverse backgrounds with diverse interests for NETWORKS of successful, ethical, influential people.

The FORUM also provided a ‘CREATIVE THINKING’ exercise where the Marketing Professionals facilitated small group ‘COLLABORATIONS’ among students to invent or create a ‘saleable‘ product or service to present to the Marketing Panel for their feedback and their market strategy for promoting the student product or service.

Dan Paquette, Vice President of Sales at Signature Printing, outlines best practices for effective ‘collaborations’ as students collaborate to create a product or service to sell to customers
(standing left) Steve Etchells: Vice President of Social Media Technology Optimization at Fidelity Investments and Jude AmoakoDirector of Partnerships at Nuñez, The People’s Agency, providing Print Design, Logo Design, Brand Design, Advertising, Brand Consulting, Graphic Design, Web Design, Package Design, Illustration, collaborate with students for their new service or product to sell.


The Hope Life Skills program of the past 18 years has been updated and refined to address the new, frequently changing opportunities AND demands our students face in a technology driven, 21st century global marketplace. 


Whether the company is Fidelity Investments, one of the largest asset managers in the world with $4.9 trillion in assets , or the digital marketing company Working Planet,  all companies are spending significant amounts of time and money looking for the ‘right‘ people.   Companies are looking for people who can ADAPT to new environments and challenges with a  PERSONAL BRAND and SELF ESTEEM which empower them to PUSH OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONES to CREATE, ASK QUESTIONS, and COLLABORATE with people with different skills sets and from different backgrounds to expand horizons of ‘what’s possiblepeople  with STORY TELLING SKILLS with effective written and oral communications, i.e. people who can write a coherent statement and speak clearly and effectively;   people with NETWORKs of creative, reputable, influential, successful people who provide guidance and mentor ship with a healthy attitude towards ‘change‘;    CRITICAL THINKERS who make well founded analyses and decisions based on empirical data, i.e. FACTS, complemented by the ability to recognize ‘partisan‘ information and ‘bias‘ that proliferates across all forms of media for ‘what it is’;  and, MUCH MORE.

You ask “WHY“?


SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES ARE SPENDING LOTS OF TIME AND MONEY SEARCHING FOR PEOPLE WITH THE AFOREMENTIONED SKILLS, BEHAVIORS, AND ATTITUDES.    AS A RESULT, STUDENTS HAVE A TIMELY OPPORTUNITY TO FIND REWARDING, WELL PAYING CAREERS.    STUDENTS SOCIAL STUDIES 2.0 offers an abundance of lessons from the rich, relevant stories shared by guests visiting our class as well as the relevant stories of success and failure from people in history to introduce and develop the critical COMPETENCIES students need for the jobs they will soon be competing for in an ever changing global marketplace.   This is the “WHY” of  SOCIAL STUDIES 2.0.

Please check out the pdf of the SOCIAL MEDIA 2.0 Skills class SYLLABUS posted on this site.

I have also linked a VIDEO introducing MANY OF THE PARTICIPANTS in the class.

Feel free to send me, Stephen Cronin, any questions and/or suggestions about the program to my email address (   The aim of this class continues to be continuous change, i.e. refinement, to meet the ever changing needs of our students for their success in the dynamic 21st century.   OUR NEW WEB SITE – SOCIAL STUDIES2POINT0.COM IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.




Homework – May 27, 2020

Please read pages 108 to 122 in the “Brand” book posted on our hope life skills web site ( for a brief profile on Paul Robeson.

I will be asking you to share your reaction and opinion on Paul Robeson’s amazing life during our next Zoom class on June 3rd at 11am. 

There are no right or wrong answers.  I am curious about your insights, opinions, and your questions.

Stay safe.  I always look forward to speaking with you.  Thank you.

Paul Robeson - IMDb

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 Class

OUR MAY 27th class will feature Southern New Hampshire University‘s Director of Development and Athletic Hall of Fame alum, Ed Ithier.   MR Ithier will speak about his university’s exciting tuition “free” hybrid plan.   Southern New Hampshire offers strong student support programs – tutoring, mentoring, and close contact with professors to go along with the most impactful part of a college education – campus life among a diverse group of people from across America and the world:  living in a dorm, eating the delicious cuisine of SNHU’s acclaimed cafeteria (I have eaten there), great college sports, arts, and clubs, a 21st century data driven curriculum, and MULTIPLE INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES.   SNHU has a beautiful, growing campus. It’s only 2 hours from Providence and near one of New Hampshire’ major cities: Manchester.  Be prepared to liberate your curiosity to ask Ed Ithier multiple questions to get the answers you’re looking for. Hope senior, David Narvaez, has met and spoken with Ed Itier during last year’s Life Skills class. BTW – one of my students from a Providence summer Life Skills program just finished his freshman year at SNHU.