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



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.

Today’s Homework: January 31, 2019

  1.  After reading the newspaper article entitled “Graduate of the Year” which I gave you in class today, please answer the following question –
    1.  compare and contrast the person described in the “Graduate of the Year” article, Tai Thi Nguyen, with yourself.   Specifically, list the SIMILARITIES (if any) you believe you have with her and then list how you are  DIFFERENT from Tai Thi Nguyen.   Please send me an email with your answers by Tuesday, February 4.