Today’s Class: May 26th, 2017

Today’s guest was Manny Rivas, Hope High 2016 graduate,

a 2015 Life Skills graduate, and present Providence College business and marketing major in his sophomore year.   Today’s Hope Life Skills host was Laisha Mendez.

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Laisha Mendez introduces Providence College sophomore, Manny Rivas, to the Life Skills class.

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Manny responds to Zidany Fatuda‘s (orange sweatshirt) question

Manny spoke about his freshman year experience at Providence College.  “If I could recommend a few things,

I would encourage your students, Mr Cronin, to be more focused on math, reading and writing while they’re in high school.  

Math class is intense at Providence College.  And, my professors are assigning a few books a week to read!   I’m always writing tooYour Hope Life Skills students really need to be more serious about their math, reading and writing courses while they’re still at Hope High School if they want to be successful in college.

Manny described his college experience, his roommate and how and why he decided upon Providence College.  “I’ve established a schedule I follow every class day;  a time to study, go to class and have fun. I have a diverse network.  My college roommate is white, from Connecticut, from a very rich family.  He’s become one of my best friends!

Providence College is looking for qualified students of color.  Providence College understands the value of a diverse student community

and they’re offering college scholarships to create a diverse Providence College.  I encourage all of you today to push out of your comfort zone to meet new people, regardless of their ethnic group or income level.  

Today’s Class: May 19th, 2017

The Hope Life  Skills guest protocol was cancelled for today’s class!

No formal greeting with the standard Hope Life Skills extended handshake, confident eye contact, and disarming smile followed by  ‘welcome to Hope High School‘ by the day’s Life Skills student host outside the classroom in the school corridor for this day’s guest.  No escort into the classroom.

No formal introduction by the day’s Hope Life Skills student host to the class.

A few students entering the classroom who saw the stranger sitting in the shadows of a corner of the classroom went up to extend a handshake and say ‘hello’.   The

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The Future Forum: May 17th, 2017

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Natalie Hogan speaks to the Hope High and LaSalle Academy students about her career path from Sculpture major at the Rhode Island School of Design to ‘Futurist’ at Hasbro and now her latest opportunity at DataRobot.

 The Hope Life Skills class rolled out the welcome carpet for 14 students from LaSalle Academy and more than 20 professionals from business, academia and non-profits for a

conversation on the impact artificial intelligence, AI, is having on today’s jobs and future career opportunities for our Hope and LaSalle students.

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Sara Jackson and Mohamadou Mbaye (standing) welcome The Future Forum guests to Hope Hope School.

The conversation did not focus on the jobs being eliminated but new opportunities, some yet to be created, by artificial intelligence

and the skills and mindset to realize them” commented Life Skills teacher Stephen Cronin.

Today’s Class: May 5th, 2017 – CVS Heath Career and Job Day

The Hope Life Skills class traveled to Woonsocket, Rhode Island today for their

annual Career and Job Day at the impressive campus of CVS Health,

a $177 billion, international company.

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Ms Nuri, Laisha Mendez and the rest of the Hope Life Skills class check in to the reception desk at the Marketing Center facility on the CVS Health Campus.

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Gerardo Castenada receives his Identification tag at the reception desk at the Marketing Center.

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Ariel Hall greets Fred Felix, a senior manager at CVS Health

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Carlos Sanchez, Senior Director of Channel Innovation and Program Delivery,  welcomes the Hope Life Skills class to the CVS Health campus and informs the students of the day’s agenda.

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The Day’s agenda

Carlos Sanchez, the host and coordinator of this event for the past several years, began the day’s program with several impressive facts about CVS Health, ranked 7th on the Forbes 500 list with almost 8,000 CVS stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Brazil.  He then presented an assignment to the class.  “As you hear about CVS Health today and meet several of our team members in your department immersion meetings, ask yourself what skills and qualities you possess that would cause CVS Health to consider you a good candidate for a job here.”   Fred Felix added

how would you respond during the job interview if you were asked ‘what value would you bring to CVS Health if you were hired’?

Today’s Class: April 28th, 2017

Today’s class was Part 1 in a series of three classes focusing on our students’ preparedness for their future.

The Hope Life Skills class first stop on their ‘future readiness tour’ was LaSalle Academy, a private high school in Providence, Rhode Island.   Our mission at LaSalle today was, primarily, to

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Hope Life Skills students on the walkway leading to the main entrance of LaSalle Academy in Providence.

extend to the LaSalle students an invitation to the Hope Life Skills “Future Forum”, hosted by the Life Skills class at Hope High on May 17th starting at 9:30am.

Interview: Syd Mead

Cover of The Future Forum brochure distributed to the LaSalle Academy students today. This Syd Meade work of art is also the cover of the assigned reading for the Future Forum. LaSalle students were given a copy of “The Future” book to read prior to The Future Forum.

Today’s Class: April 7, 2017

Interview: Syd Mead

One of Industrial Designer and Futurist artist, Syd Mead’s, images of the future.

Today Life Skills class was a ‘prep day‘ for upcoming Life Skills classes.   There are a number of classes in the coming weeks and months where the Life Skills class will be traveling to remote sites for class.   There is also a major event planned for May 17th called “The Future Forum“.   Hope Life Skills will host visiting students from LaSalle Academy as well a 4 future oriented business people who will share their perspectives on The Future and guide integrated small groups of Hope and LaSalle students in a collaborative activity to identify trends to exploit for their future career opportunities.  Stay tuned.

Today’s Class: March 31, 2017

Today’s Hope Life Skills

host was Delsairey Almonte.

Delsairey welcomed

our guest, the future President of the country of Guatemala,

Rodrigo Zetina-Yglesias, to the Hope Life Skills class.

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Delsairey greets the future President, RodrigoZetina-Yglesias, prior to the start of class.

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Delsairey leads the future Guatemalan President into the Life Skills classroom

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Delsairey introduces Rodrigo as “the Future President of Guatemala” to her classmates to start today’s class.

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Justin Cordeiro welcomes Rodrigo to Hope Life Skills following Delsairey’s introduction.  Ariel Hall waits to do the same.

 Today’s class became a lesson in the power and importance of inquiry.

This class is also a testament to the impressive curiosity, confidence and intelligence of empowered Hope High School students,

teacher not required”

Today’s Class: March 24th, 2017

Today’s guest was Elsch Maisoh Jr, Project Engineer, Gilbane Building Company,

Providence, RI.  Gilbane is a family-owned, national construction and real estate development company. Forbes Magazine ranked Gilbane as the 108th largest privately held company in the United States in 2006 with estimated revenues of $2.83 billion.

Today’s Life Skills class host was Felicia Dickerson.

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Felicia (center) welcomes Elsch (right) to Hope High Life Skills. Jean Louis Jimps (left), Hope High super guidance counselor, joined Felicia’s introduction today out side the Life Skills classroom.

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Felicia introduces Elsch to her classmates to start today’s program. Great job, Felicia!

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Deyreni Ferreras leads the class to welcome Elsch following Felicia’s introduction. Yael Torres is quick to follow Deyreni

Elsch’s story began with two questions –  what is engineering?   what is the profile of a typical engineer?  The class responded impressively.  “There are a wide variety of engineers today from computer technology to construction and many in between” said Yael Torres.   The class consensus was

engineers need to be creative, good in math, conscientious and ethical.

And, they are gender neutral;  i.e. both male and female engineers.

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Elsch begins his story.

Elsch shared his personal story.  “My parents were hard working Haitian immigrants.  They instilled the importance of education in me and my siblings” he said. “While my elementary schooling was successful, middle school was a disaster.  I went to the Met and things got better.  I was fortunate to have a few internships and

Today’s Class: March 17, 2017

Today’s guest was Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, a Senior Vice President at Bank of America

in the Bank of America Wealth Management division.  In 2016, Forbes Magazine listed Bank of America (BOA) as the eleventh largest company in the world with its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.  BOA serves clients all over the world.   The National Football League team, Carolina Panthers, plays its home games in the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Today’s host was Ingris Izaguirre Maradiaga.

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Ingris welcomes “Jay” outside of the Life Skills class prior to the start of class.

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Jay said “Ingris made me feel welcome; she made me relax before going into the classroom to meet her classmates“. A perfect host!

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Ingris escorts Jay into the Life Skills classroom

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Ingris introduces Jay to her Life Skills classmates

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Imani Turner welcomes Jay to class following Ingris’ introduction as other students waited to do the same. “I was very impressed with how professional the students’ greetings were. Firm handshakes and good eye contact. Impressive!“Jay commented.


Jay began her story by explaining what a person does working in the “banking” industry.   Like many large companies, there are a wide variety of jobs at a large company like BOA.  From tellers and managers of neighborhood BOA banks to computer programmers in the Informational Technology (IT) departments, Bank of America has approximately 208,000 employees.

I work in the wealth management division” 

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Jay begins to share her banking story with the Life Skills class.

Jay said.  “This simply means when a person gives the bank a certain amount of money to invest,  my responsibility is increase the value of this money each year over time.  For example,

if someone gave BOA $100,000 to initially invest, my responsibility is to increase the $100,000 to $105,000 the next year and to $110,000 or more the following year

Today’s Class: March 10, 2017

Today’s guest was Neil Amper, Vice-President at Capstone Properties,

a commercial real estate company.   Commercial real estate companies buy, sell and lease (rent) factory buildings, apartment complexes, and other company buildings.

There was no class host today.  Rather, there was a test

to start the class.  Neil arrived early to Hope High School and went directly to our Life Skills classroom.  After Neil chose a desk to sit, I simply observed how Life Skills students would react to a guest already seated in the classroom.  The result of today’s test was impressive.  Almost every student, upon entering the classroom, approached Neil, extended a handshake and a “welcome to Hope High School”.

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When Ingris Izaguirre Maradiaga (back to the camera) entered the classroom and saw today’s guest, Neil Amper, sitting in one of the classroom chairs, she immediately approached Neil to welcome him to Hope Life Skills. By looking at Neil’s face, one can easily determine Ingris’ welcome was effective. Good job, Ingris! You represented us well today.

Neil’s story was both astonishing and inspirational.

I grew up in a very privileged family.

My father started what eventually became a $500,000,000 (million) scrap metal company in Pennsylvania.  We lived in a huge house with live-in servants.  My father owned his own plane.  We never wanted for anything.  After I graduated from college, I managed one of my father’s facilities in Rhode Island.  I was making a lot of money. 

At the age of 28, I was worth $10,000,000 (million).