Today’s Class: November 9, 2018

Mandarin translation of – “I was pleased to meet Kevin today.

Today’s guests were 4 friendly, conscientious LaSalle Academy juniors who

shared their strategies for finding “the right” college to develop their talents and find a fulfilling career opportunity.

5 Hope Life Skills students welcomed our LaSalle Academy guests to Hope High School prior to the start of today’s class. Left side of the photo – Jose Quintanilla welcomes LaSalle guidance counselor, Edward Cronan. Starting in the foreground of this photo and working to the back, Lucy Salado (left) greets LaSalle junior Wandaly Montilla. Then, Lisbet Gomez (left) welcomes Wara Oladele. Paola Varela (left) greets Jack Sheil and, in the background, Kevin Castenada (left) welcomes Jay Hu.

One by one, Lisbet (far right), Lucy, Paola and Kevin individually introduce Wara, Wandaly, Jack and Jay to their Hope Life Skills classmates to start today’s class.

Today’s Class: November 2, 2018

Today’s Hope Life Skills’ guests were Edwin Silverio and Kirtley Fisher.

Kirtley is the Associate Chief of Staff at the Rhode Island Department of Education. Edwin is an Advisor in the Pharmacy Returns Division of CVS Health, a $200 billion dollar company located in Woonsocket, RI.

Our Life Skills hosts,

charged with welcoming our guests to Hope High School and introducing them to their Life Skills classmates, were

Khadiatou Njie and Aaron Chy.

Both Edwin and Kirtley came to Hope High today to

introduce PAID summer internship opportunities to the Life Skills class.

Khadiatou (left in the foreground of this photo) welcomes Kirtley Fisher to Hope High as Aaron (in the background left) welcomes Edwin Silverio to Hope High prior to today’s Life Skills class.  Please note Khadiatou asked and was given Kirtley’s business card.  Excellent networking, Khadiatou.

Aaron introduces Edwin to his classmates at the start of today’s class.

Today’s Class: October 19, 2018

Today’s guest was Ray Nunez, the Program Coordinator at Leadership Rhode Island.

Christian Hernandez welcomes Ray Nunez to Hope High School today.

Leadership RI is a non-profit organization which brings people together, like a networking community, to maximize each person’s potential and, in the process, the companies and organizations they are part of.

Ray Nunez joined our class today

to administer the Clifton Strengths Assessment, an online personal survey that identifies each user’s strengths.

Mr Cronin’s Strengths Assessment

The authors of the survey believe they can identify what people are good at.   Ray Nunez explained “the survey creators believe in focusing on people’s strengths, what we’re good at, rather than what we’re not good at. 

By focusing on our strengths, we will be more successful

in our jobs and relationships.  We’ll feel fulfilled.  And, the companies and organizations we work for will benefit as well.

Today’s survey will identify your strengths so you can focus on potential jobs and relationships which take advantage of those strengths” 

Today’ Class: October 5, 2018

Today’s guest was Anthony Muhammad,

one of the largest banks in the World,

Deutsche Bank.

The Hope Life Skills host for this day was David Narvaez (left in photo) seen here welcoming today’s guest, investment banker, Anthony Muhammad, to Hope High School.

David introduces Anthony Muhammad to his Life Skills classmates to start today’s class.

Today’s Class: September 28, 2018

The topic of the day was


how we prepare to share our own story on a job resume, during a job interview, or at a networking event like BIF.  Our ability to tell our story creates


for fulfilling relationships, exciting jobs, careers, and internships which can lead to lifetime success.  The

flip side of telling a story is listening

to someone’s story, respectfully and artfully.  Listening is arguably more important than speaking.

Today’s class was

a dry run or, practice,

as we prepare everyone to welcome, speak with, ask questions of and listen to the many guests who will visit our class this year in the Life Skills class.  Next week’s class is Opening Day with a mystery guest from New York city.

After today’s practice, everyone understands and appreciates the importance and benefits of our class protocols.

Each class features a host who greets, welcomes and introduces the day’s guest to the rest of the Life Skills class. Today, David Narvaez acts as our host to greet, welcome and then introduce, me, to his classmates. Well done, David!

After the host’s introduction, each student individually welcomes our guest to the Life Skills class.  The photo above shows Jason Sebastiao with a perfect greeting –  eye contact, firm handshake and a welcoming greeting, “nice to meet you Mr Cronin!

The photo above shows what follows the greeting – our guest, otherwise known as me today, answers student questions about career, mistakes and failures and lessons learned, and insights into the decisions made in between. I was impressed by the quality of today’s questions. Looking forward to next week’s real guest.





Today’s Class: September 21, 2018

Today’s class was

Part 2 of the Hope Life Skills class orientation. 

Mr Cronin wants to make sure students understand and are comfortable with Mr Cronin’s role in the class and his expectations of each one of them.

I see myself as one of your Life Coaches. 

My job is to introduce you to a multitude of new career opportunities that are possible in your future.   Secondly, and maybe more importantly, I will introduce and help you develop a variety of very specific skills and attitudes to

develop your talents and maximize your potential

for the fulfilling career you desire.

Today’s guests, four students from last year’s Life Skills class, shared their candid opinions about the class; i.e. what they liked and what they didn’t like. The four students were (left to right): Nayely Furcal, Rosa Rodriguez, Eveline Silva, and Lisanyis Gonzalez.  They all liked the variety of guests who came to class. For example, an FBI agent, former and now famous Hope High student and present Columbia graduate school student, Marta Aparcio, and computer technologist, Arnell Millhouse, who arrived to class on a hoverboard were some of the names mentioned.  What all did not like was the homework.

Mr Cronin spoke about the role homework assignments play in the Life Skills class.

The homework in this class is NOT busy work.  It has a very specific purpose.  It is

assigned to make you think and reflect about what you need to do to be successful

Last week’s homework assignment introduced you to the concept of PERSONAL BRAND and how your brand affects your opportunities for lifetime success.  This week’s assignment explains why ‘QUESTIONS’ will be MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANSWERS throughout your life!”

Mr Cronin finished the class by explaining

next class is practice.

It will be like an exhibition game. I will be next week’s class guest.  Your role will be to practice your role as class hosts, welcoming me to Hope High and this class, making me feel comfortable and welcome, and then asking me any questions you want to know about my career and life.  If you have no questions, it will be a pretty boring class like any other class you choose not to ask questions of our guests.”

Here’s the schedule of our guests, field trips, and activities for the first few months of this school year:

October 5 – .   Mystery guest.  Our Hope Life Skills class host is ?   Today’s class will emphasize the importance of questions; they are more important than answers!   Students will be asked to identify our guest’s job today by asking our guest questions which our guest can only respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’.


OCTOBER 12 – –  Guest – Nan Quinlan –   Our Hope Life Skills class host is!   Nan is the former Training and Development Manager at TACO Inc, a multi-million dollar, international company in Cranston, Rhode.  Nan is an expert on resume writing and job interviewing skills.   Today’s class will focus on introducing the skills we all need for a successful job interview.  From how we should dress and best practices for greeting the receptionist to our posture during the interview, the questions we should ask and how to follow up after the interview in order to maximize our brand.   There will be several role playing exercises during today’s class.

  • JOB INTERVIEW ROLE PLAY – This is a fun class and lots of valuable information to help you get the job you are applying for.


October 17Leadership Rhode Island, an organization whose missions is to develop and refine leadership skills among the state’s citizens, will visit our class to do a skills assessment.   Our Hope Life Skills class host is ?     Ray Nunez is the Program Coordinator at Leadership Rhode Island.  Since arriving to the United States from Los Reyes, Michoacán, Mexico in 1999, Ray Nuñez has been recognized for his leadership in various capacities.  Ray graduated from Johnson and Wales University (JWU) in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design and Digital Media.

  • SKILLS ASSESSMENT – Many companies use skills assessments to determine what each employee is good at in order to give them tasks/roles which exploit their strengths and avoid giving them tasks they are not good at.
  • YOUR business cards are REQUIRED. _______________________________________________________________

OCTOBER 22Ray Nunez from Leadership Rhode Island returns to Hope High School to share YOUR personal strengths assessment findingsOur Hope Life Skills class host is ?

  • YOUR business cards are REQUIRED. ______________________________________________________________

OCTOBER 29 –  Nan Quinlan returns for a class on writing a good job resume.     Our Hope Life Skills class host is ?


NOVEMBER 2 –  Summer Internship opportunities

  • Kirtley Fisher is the Associate Chief of Staff at the Rhode Island Department of Education. She will speak about PAID summer internship opportunities FOR YOU through the state’s PrepareRI I recommend you research you visit Kirtley’s LinkedIn site and the PrepareRI web site before Kirtley’s visit (PrepareRI website:
  • Arnell Millhouse is the CEO, CareerDevs, Founder, IntraCity Geeks, Co-Founder & CTO at Common Connect App. Arnell has launched an innovative computer science education program teaching students valuable computer skills which lead to fulfilling, well paid, 21st century jobs.  Arnell program has the support the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship at Brown Univ. and Harvard University CS50x.  I recommend you research Arnell’s LinkedIn site for more information prior to Arnell’s visit.
  • Edwin Silveiro is an Advisor in the Pharmacy Returns division at CVS Health AND the coordinator of the CVS Health and Hope Life Skills summer internship program. CVS is a $180 billion, international, American retail pharmacy and health care company headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. For the past 8 summers, CVS has offered highly structured and staff supported, PAID internships at their corporate offices in Woonsocket for Hope Life Skills students to experience what it’s like working in a large, international company, working as part of a corporate team in a multitude of areas:  pharmacy support, store management, team meetings, and more. I recommend you research CVS Health, Edwin’s LinkedIn site and past reviews of the CVS Health intern experience on our Life Skills web site in August of the past 3 years.


 NOVEMBER 9 –  LaSalle Academy juniors visit our class to share their strategy and plans for selecting a college that will bring out their best.   Our Hope Life Skills class host is ?    

  • Our mission is to help you developing your own strategy for finding and applying to a college which will develop your talents and thus create opportunities for life time success.
  • YOUR business cards are REQUIRED. _______________________________________________________________

NOVEMBER 16 – –  Nikolai Pawlenko,  NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, University of Rhode Island School of Oceanography.   “Nick’s duties” as a NOAA Corps officer encompass launching weather balloons at the South Pole, conducting hydrographic fish surveys in Alaska, maintaining sea buoys in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and flying into hurricanes. Our Hope Life Skills class host is ?   Nikolai will share his personal story and speak about the wide variety of jobs available in oceanography.

  • You’ll be surprised and possibly discover a career opportunity you never considered.
  • YOUR business cards are REQUIRED.


NOVEMBER 23 –  NO SCHOOL _________________________________________________________________________

NOVEMBER 30 –  VISIT TO A PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOL.  You will join a class of juniors at a private school for a class Stephen Cronin will teach on “Personal Branding”.

  • We will have lunch at this private high school.
  • YOUR business cards are REQUIRED.


DECEMBER 1st –   Future Forum Preparation.  We’ll prepare so that you will get the most out of the Forum and your networking opportunities with the Futurists from a variety of companies and countries.  ___________________________________________________________________


  • 20 Business futurists return to Hope High FOR THE THIRD YEAR for a conversation WITH STUDENTS on a future affected by robots and computer programs. These futurists will share their visions ABOUT students’ future job opportunities which are being increasingly affected by Artificial Intelligence. Thought Leaders from a variety of industries including Oceanography, Marketing, Nano-technology, Banking, Computer Programming, Graphic Design, Health Care and Fashion, will share their visions of the future. The Forum will feature small group workshops where corporate futurists facilitate a collaboration among small groups of students to identify a fulfilling job influenced by artificial intelligence in their future.
  • CATERED LUNCH will be served and networking opportunities with our guests. _______________________________________________________________

DECEMBER  7 –  Jason Roias.   Our Hope Life Skills class host is ?     Jason is a 2014 Hope High graduate and former President of the senior class of Hope High School.  Jason attends CCRI and is a staff member at one of Rhode Island largest law firms.  He is the FOUNDER of a non-profit organization which feeds Providence’s homeless and needy.  Jason was recently a 2018 candidate for the Providence City Council representing Ward 4 in the city.

  • YOUR business cards are REQUIRED.



  • 1) half year review: Mr Cronin’s TEACHING performance i.e. quality of the events and guests; the way he runs a class; his weekly blog and homework postings
  • 2) review the performance of the entire class. Parent Night/day to meet Mr Cronin – STUDENT OPINION
  • 4) Future Forum review –  YOUR OPINIONS on the featured speaker(s) and guests.  WHAT ABOUT the breakout COLLABORATION sessions? Refinements or status quo – HOW TO MAKE IT BETTER???   Whether to invite private school students to the Forum????    Lunch –  menu?????  Other???
  • 5) WHO’S INTERESTED – PAID SUMMER internship –- (EXAMPLE: paid $15 per hour, 7 week internship at the CVS corporate office in Woonsocket, RI) – Applications in April
  • 6) WHO’S INTERESTEDNational Youth Leadership Forum on CSI and Law for 5 days in July in Washington, D.C.; applications in March;  ALL STUDENT EXPENSES PAID BY THE LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM SPONSORS.


December 21 –    Adrienne Gagnon, Executive Directive for Down City Design.  Our Hope Life Skills class host is ? Adrienne co-founded the non-profit organization DownCity Design in 2009 to help people design and build solutions for their communities. Thousands of Providence teens have since participated in DownCity Design’s free after-school and summer programs, using the tools of design to create over 70 installations to improve public spaces in Providence like schools, parks, and playgrounds. Adrienne will discuss Design Thinking, a strategy for solving problems that helps you come up with innovative solutions. Thinking like a designer can help people creatively tackle any challenge!    __________________________________________________________________

January 4  –  MARTA APARICIO –  Our Hope Life Skills class host is?      Marta is a 2010 graduate of Hope High.  At one time during her senior year, she was living on her own, working 30 hours a week at an area hospital and ranked #1 in her class.  Upon graduation from Hope High, Marta was awarded a full scholarship to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  She studied in Spain her junior year. Marta will share with us the challenges of her transition from Hope High to this prestigious college during 1st semester freshman year and her overall experience at Georgetown.  Marta graduated from Georgetown with a 3.4GPA with a double major.  After 2 years working after graduation at the Follett Corporation in Miami and being an adjunct professor at Miami Dade Community college, Marta is now entering the Columbia University graduate school in New York city with a Charles Rangel Fellowship (scholarship) for a Master’s Degree in International/Global studies.  She has a job waiting for her in a US Embassy someplace to be determined in the world upon completion of her master’s degree.   YOUR business cards are REQUIRED.

  • YOU WILL BE AMAZED AND INSPIRED. _______________________________________________________________

JANUARY 11 –  Abby AlmonteOur Hope Life Skills class host is ?     Abby is presently a sophomore at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.  She is studying Business Administration with a concentration in Business Economics and minor in Marketing.

Abby went to high school in Providence, Rhode Island and was a participant in the 2016 Hope Life Skills Future Forum 1.  Abby worked at HaloText during her senior year in high school as a MARKETING ASSISTANT.  HALOTEXT is a non-profit organization which works with several foundations for various causes. The program encourages participants to sign up for an organization of their choice ranging from large groups such as The Gloria Gemma fund to local family-run organizations.  PRIOR TO ABBLY’S VISIT, CHECK OUT HER LINKEDIN SITE.  Your QUESTIONS and BUSINESS CARDS are REQUIRED.

  • Today’s mission – Abby’s perspective will hopefully help you refine your strategy for finding the college which can bring out the best in you, maximizing your great potential while offering the maximum amount of financial aid.  Abby will also explain her strategy for getting summer internships in jobs within specific companies which will hopefully help her find a fulfilling job when she graduates.
  • _______________________________________________________________

January 18 Aristides “Arrow” Membreno.   Our Hope Life Skills class host is .  From designing shoes for Converse to Superheroes for Hasbro, “Arrow’ will share his personal story from emigration from a Central American country to the United States and a challenging childhood in Oakland, California before eventually finding a fulfilling career in corporate design.   Amazing and inspiring story of finding something you like to do and your good at and developing a career on it.  It’s also a story of persistent networking to find your career opportunities.  YOUR business cards are REQUIRED.

  • Today’s mission is to convey the importance of creative thinking for career and lifetime success.   And, you all have this skill. _______________________________________________________________
  • January 25 –   Jane BermontOur Hope Life Skills class host is?    Jane is a 1965 graduate of Hope High School.   She is now the President of Hope High Dollars for Scholars, an organization which raises money for scholarship aid for Hope High School students to college.  Since 2011, this organization has given more than $200,000 in college scholarship aid to 66 Hope High School students.   Jane graduated from prestigious Tufts University with a BS in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College and has been an entrepreneur and management consultant over the course of her professional career.    The mission of today’s class is for you to learn how you might apply for scholarship aid from Jane’s scholarship organization.  Your business cards and required and a fearlessness to ask Jane your questions.

Today’s mission will be to find a source for college scholarship aid

Ms Nuri spoke about the importance of a professional email address for successful networking. “21stCenturyPartyGirl@gmail will hurt more than help you get the job you’re looking for.”


Opening Day – 2018

First day.  First impressions.   Students and teacher.

Hope Life Skills teacher, Stephen Cronin, introduces the goals of the class, his responsibilities as the program’s teacher and his expectations of the students who choose to enroll in the class.

Students were introduced and invited to BIF, an international storytelling and networking conference, held at the Trinity Theatre in Providence on Thursday, September 13 and Friday, September 14. Students were instructed to email Mr Cronin ( of their interest and the preferred day as soon as possible.

BIF Networking – 2 Hope Life Skills students (Nayely and Rosa in the right side of photo) networking with a student from a Massachusetts private school also at BIF during one of the breaks.

MORE BIF Networking!  2 Hope Life Skills students (Jonasia and Eveline) speak with one of the BIF storytellers following his story telling on the BIF stage.

Your questions will be more important than your answers in Hope Life Skills!”

Today’s class concluded with the reminder –  “if you choose to enroll in this class, you are expected to do the following:

1. Respect – our guests, your classmates, your teacher, and yourselves.   Always.

2. Attend each class – text me if you are not able.

3. Fulfill weekly reading and writing assignments

4. Tryall the time – ‘no excuses!!!’

In return, you will always get my best effort for your best interests.”

Letter from Stephen Cronin to the parents and guardians of today’s Life Skills students. English on one side. Spanish on the other. Assured students I would publish this letter in any other language upon request.




Today’s Class: June 1, 2018

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Kevin Estrada and Lisanyis Gonzalez sitting up front with Walter Jimenez and Damilola Odelabu in the back of a $125,000 Tesla Model X autonomous electric car.

Today’s guest was Jim Clark, the President of JLS mailing company.

Today’s host was Lisanyis Gonzalez.

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Lisanyis welcomes Jim Clark to Hope High prior to the start of today’s class.

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Lisanyis introduces Jim Clark to her classmates to start today’s class.

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Mariana Guerrero Pimental welcomes Jim Clark to today’s class following Lisanyis’ introduction.  Damilola and Ianique Imboque wait to do the same.

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Nayely Furcal welcomes Jim Clark to today’s class.

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Jim begins to share the story of his autonomous, electric car, the Tesla Model X.

o to 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds” Jim began.

No gas nor oil.  No parts like carburetors or spark plugs to replace and  very little maintenance like gasoline powered cars. I plug the car into the electric outlet

Today’s Class: May 25, 2018

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Today’s Guests: Arnell Milhouse (left) and Garin Veris

Today’s guests were Arnell Milhouse and Garin Veris.

Arnell is a computer scientist and entrepreneur.  He is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Career Devs and the Founder of Intra City Geeks (  Garin is the former Athletic Director at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  He’s an attorney and a former member of the New England Patriots 1985 Super Bowl team.

Today’s Hope Life Skills hosts were Francisco Gonzalez and Ayo Onajide.

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Francisco Gonzalez (red shirt) and Ayo Onajide (writing with nap sack) welcome Arnell Milhouse (lower right) and Garin Veris (top right) to Hope High School’s Life Skills class.

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Francisco and Ayo escort Arnell and Garin into the classroom. Please notice Arnell’s unique mode of transportation into the classroom. Pretty cool!

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Arnell’s hover craft which he used on the streets of Providence to get to Hope High today and his journey from the school lobby to our Life Skills class. Travel speed you ask? According to Arnell, “I can get up to 20 miles per hour!

Today’s Class: May 18, 2018

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Ray Nunez from Leadership Rhode Island returns to the Hope Life Skills class to explain the findings of the strengths assessment survey students completed on April 27th, 2018.

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Ray Nunez administering the Clifton Strengths Assessment to the Life Skills students on April 27th.

 Ray Nunez, Program Coordinator at Leadership Rhode Island,

returned to the friendly environs of the Life Skills class to review the findings of the Clifton Strengths Assessment administered to the students during an earlier class on April 27th.

Each student was given a packet of information today listing each student’s 5 most prominent strengths with an explanation


Please note, at the end of this blog, there is a list of all the 34 potential strengths developed by Dr Clifton in the Gallup strengths’ assessment.

of what each strength means and how it is exhibited in their life.

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Ray speaks with Eveline and Kevin about their assessment.