Today’s Class: January 19, 2018

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Maya Taveras Cordeiro

Today’s guest was Maya Tavares Cordeiro,

the Founder and Owner of Bristol Looms.

Today’s Hope Life Skills host was Nayely Furcal Marte.

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Nayely (left) meets Maya before the start of today’s class. Please notice the scarf Nayely is wearing.   It is one of Maya’s scarfs made out of bamboo!!!!

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Nayely introduces Maya to her classmates at the start of today’s Hope Life Skills class.

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Ashlely Charles welcomes Maya to today’s class immediately following Nayely’s introduction as other students wait to extend a similar greeting to Maya.   As you can see, Ashley’s greeting is perfect – a welcoming greeting, great eye contact, a genuine smile and firm handshake.

Today’s Class: January 12, 2018

Today’s guest was Marta Aparicio,

Employment Case Manager for the Jobs Plus Initiative at the Providence Housing Authority.    Our Hope Life Skills class

host for Marta’s visit was Kevin Estrada.

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Kevin Estrada welcomes Marta Aparicio on her return to Hope High School and the Hope Life Skills class.

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Kevin introduces Marta to today’s Hope Life Skills class.  Well done, Kevin.

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Mariana Guerrero Pimental welcomes Marta to our class following Kevin’s introduction.  Great job by Mariana!  Notice Mariana’s great eye contact, firm handshake and smile.  Laisha Mendez follows Mariana and awaits to do the same.

I opened today’s class saying “I believe some of you will become very successful adults. I could just as easily be saying ‘all of you will become very successful’ if I was confident that all of you will be committed to do the things Marta has done to become the successful person you aspire to be just as Marta has done throughout her life.  Marta will share her life story.

You all have the intelligence to be successful adults! 

Regardless what you’ve heard to the contrary or how you sometimes feel about yourself, I am positive you can be as successful as you aspire to be. 

The determining factor will be your commitment to the success you aspire to. 

Today’s class: December 15th, 2017

Today’s guest was Stephen Cronin, the teacher of the Hope Life Skills class.

Lisanyis Gonzalez was today’s host, welcoming Mr Cronin

to the class and introducing him to the students.

Why the formality when everyone knows Mr Cronin?

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Lisanyis Gonzalez exchanges business cards with Mr Cronin prior to the start of today’s class.

Today’s class was a review of the first half of this school year’s Hope Life Skills class.

From Mr Cronin’s performance as teacher and the quality of the weekly class guests and special events like BIF and the Future Forum to Mr Cronin’s concerns about student performance and coming events for the 2nd half of this year, today’s conversation was a review of what’s happened to what’s coming next.  Mr Cronin then introduced and explained the concept of

 “quid pro quo“;

in other words, Mr Cronin said he expects students to work as hard as he works preparing classes and special events.  He also said student effort will determine what they are invited to and considered for.  This means

student attendance and homework completion in the second half of this school year will  affect who goes to special field trips and events

like our annual “jobs info day at the CVS corporate offices in Woonsocket, RI, a college campus tour, and a

May 1st special event called “Designathon.  

If student homework is not close to being up to date and if class attendance is not good, these students will NOT be invited to these events.  Furthermore, nominees for

paid summer internships and scholarships for the National Youth Leadership Forum on CSI and Law in Washington, D.C. for 5 days in July

will only be extended to students with good homework completion and attendance.  Just as companies will NOT accommodate special requests from employees who have poor attendance and incomplete homework assignments, Hope Life Skills will likewise do the same.

This is quid pro quo.”

Students suggested the creation of

an app for the  Hope Life Skills class.

Great!!  I’ll look into this.  May take until next year but it sounds like a good idea”  Mr Cronin said.   And, “what about

a text message to all students

when you, Mr Cronin, post our weekly homework assignment on our web site?”   Mr Cronin said he would work on this too.

And, after Rosa said she liked the inspirational videos posted on the Hope Life Skills web site, Mr Cronin responded

“Rosa, I will try to post more inspirational videos.”

Mr Cronin ended today’s class with

Feliz Navidad!!!  Feliz ano nuevo!!   Y, Dios te bendiga!

Today’s Class: December 8, 2017

Claudia Cardozo, the Community Development Manager at Coastway Community Bank and

President of her own consulting company, Cardozo Coaching, was the guest of today’s Hope Life Skills class.

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Claudia shares her story of ‘fearless’ focus and resilience in overcoming obstacles for success.

Marianella Galan Jimenez was today’s class host.

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Marianella welcomes Claudia to her Hope Life Skills class and exchanges business cards in the process as students await her introduction inside the classroom.

Today’s Class: November 17, 2017

Today’s guest was Jeff Sparr, Founder of Peace Love,

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Jeff Sparr is greeted by today’s class host, Nayely Furtado, before the start of today’s class

a non-profit foundation whose mission is to help people dealing with the challenges of mental illness.   From depression and anxiety to obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD),

Peace Love helps those afflicted by some form of mental illness to create peace of mind through art

and storytelling.  “I’ve suffered from OCD and anxiety since I was in college.  It took a while before someone suggested I try painting to help me deal with it.  So I did” said Sparr.  “Despite having no artistic training,

painting made me feel better. 

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Nayely introduces Jeff Sparr to her classmates to start today’s class.

I thought this might help others suffering from mental illness too.”  So, Jeff started Peace Love.

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Ayo Onajide welcomes Jeff with a firm handshake, good eye contact and “thanks for coming to our class” following Nayely’s introduction.

Today’s Class: November 3, 2017

Today’s guest was Nan Quinlan,

a professional training and coaching consultant and contractor.  In other words,

Nan helps people find and get the jobs they aspire to.

Nan also helps companies find and keep the best employees in their companies.   Furthermore, Nan trains people to maximize their BRANDS to find and keep the jobs they like.

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Nelson Castillo (right) welcomes Nan Quinlan to today’s Hope Life Skills class.

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Nelson does a great job introducing Nan to his classmates at the start of today’s class.

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Walter Jimenez greets Nan following Nelson’s introduction.

Today’ Class: October 27, 2017

Today’s guest,

Tino Chow, was arguably one of the most interesting guests

who have visited our Life Skills class.  Our interest in Tino was created not only his

passion for design and entrepreneurship

and his appreciation of the exceptional opportunities the United States of America extends to those who live here but also by Tino’s fascinating story of being

born in the fascinating Asian country of Singapore and educated in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong.


Jonasia Brown (right) welcomes Tino Chow to Hope High and the Life Skills class and gives Tino her business card in the process before the start of today’s class.

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Jonasia introduces Tino to the rest of her classmates

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Following Jonasia’s introduction of Tino to the class, the class approaches Tino and individually welcomes him to the Life Skills class. Walter Jimenez welcomes Tino with a smile, great eye contact, a firm handshake and a ‘thanks for coming to our class today’ greeting.

Today’s Homework: October 20, 2017

1.  This assignment is an important preparation for our conversation with next week’s guest, Tino Chow.   This assignment is similar to what smart, successful people do when they prepare for a job interview or attending a networking opportunity like you will do on December 5th at our Future Forum, i.e being prepared to create an opportunity for success.  As a result, please read pages 1 through 46 in “The Story of Singapore and The Change Agent Who Created ItTHEN, answer the following questions and send them to my email address ANY TIME BEFORE Tuesday, October 24th, 11:59pm.   This is a lot of information to read and digest in a short period of time. Here’s a suggestion  which may be of benefit.  Skim each page from page 1 through 46.  In other words, when you are assigned a reading with lots of graphics (photos and maps) and breakout text (some words on each page printed in a larger, bolder font) like this textbook, skim or go through each page JUST looking at the graphics (maps and photos), reading the explanation beneath the graphics and only the breakout words in the bold, large fonts on each page.   After doing this, you’ll have a basic understanding of the textbook story.  After skimming, you can go back to read the entire text in greater detail.   This is just a suggestion.  Now, here are the questions to answer after you skim the entire reading or you read the entire text.

  1. Go to page 51 in The Story of Singapore and The Change Agent Who Created Ittext book.  Read the characteristics of COUNTRY #1 and COUNTRY #2.  Then, tell me which country you’d rather live in.
  2. If George Washington is arguably the most important person in the history of the United States, name the person who is the most important person in the history of Singapore.
  3. The cost of an average automobile is $25,000 and the cost of a government driver’s license is $70 in the state of Rhode Island; the state of Rhode Island is one (1) of fifty (50) states in the country of the United States of America.  These two fees – $25,000 and $70 – make the combined cost for buying a car and paying for a driver’s license in Rhode Island is $25,070.  Let’s assume the cost of a typical automobile in Singapore is the same as Rhode Island, $25,000. (Tino will let us know on Friday.)  There is, however, a different cost for getting a driver’s license in Singapore.  What is the combined cost of a person’s $25,000 car and a government driver’s license in Singapore?  (The information to make this calculation is found by reading page 35.)
  4. The ANNUAL cost of tuition at the University of Rhode Island is approximately $14,000 for a Rhode Island resident.  What is the tuition cost of one of Singapore’s government universities for a Singaporean citizen?  (The information to answer this question is found by reading page 37.)
  5. The President of the United States is paid a salary of $400,000 a year.  Please state the annual salary of Singapore’s Prime Minister (a title similar to America’s President). (The information to answer this question is found by reading pages 27 and 28.)
  6. What is the official language of Singapore?
  7. Which country, Singapore or the United States, do you think has less graffiti on buildings, bridges and other structures?  AND, explain why you think your answer is correct.  (The information to answer this question is found by reading pages 31, 32, 33.)
  8.  What does the Singaporean holiday, National Harmony Day, celebrate?  (The information to answer this question is found by reading page 16, 17, 26, and 27.)
  9.  In which country, Singapore or the United States of America, does the average person make more money, live a healthier and longer life, and experience less crime?  (The information to answer this question is found by reading pages 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, and 33.)
  10. Which country, Singapore or the United States of America, would you rather live in?  AND, explain why you feel this way.
  11. Please send me ONE question you would like to ask next week’s guest, Tino Chow, a Singaporean, about his country of Singapore.
  12. Like the United States of America, Singapore has many different ethnic groups of people living in the country.   The three (3) major Singaporean ethnic groups are Chinese, Indigenous Malays (like the USA’s American Indians) and Asian Indians (from the country of India). The three (3) main ethnic groups in America are Caucasian (white), African American, and Latino (Hispanic).  America has had only one African American President in the 200+ year history of the country and no Latino Presidents, yet.  No Native American (Indian) Presidents, yet.  Please give me the reason why there is a better chance of Singapore having a Prime Minister from each of their three (3) main ethnic groups before their 200th anniversary as a country.  (The information to answer this question is found by reading page 17.  Read this page carefully and you can determine the answer.)


    Tino Chow (right in photo) networking with Hope Life Skills student, Travis Barbour, after sharing his personal story during a Life Skills class in 2014.

Today’s Class: October 20, 2017

U.S. Marine. Entrepreneur. Business owner with over 400 employees. Business consultant. New York Yankee fan.  Committed networker.  Non-Profit Founder and President of the Elisha Project.

A servant to those in need.

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Walter Jimenez (right) greets and welcomes George Ortiz, Founder and President of the Elisha Project, to today’s Hope Life Skills class in the corridor before the start of class.

 George Ortiz was today’s guest of the Hope Life Skills class.

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Walter leads George Ortiz into the Life Skills classroom and introduces George to his Life Skills classmates.

From feeding the needy on Providence’s street each Saturday morning to a future vision of a restaurant offering free meals,

the Elisha Project has become of community of giving volunteers addressing the needs of the less fortunate among us.

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Laisha Mendez welcomes George Ortiz to Hope Life Skills following Walter Jimenez’s introduction. Catherine Vosono waits to do the same.

Today’s Class: October 13, 2017

Today’s class began with a challenge.

Students were asked to determine our guest’s job by asking questions which he could only respond with a ‘yes‘ or ‘no‘ answer.

Today’s class was

a follow up exercise to our reading of the Life Skills textbook, “Questions“.

In other words, this class offered students an opportunity to extend themselves ‘out of their comfort zone’ to ask questions to a successful business person in front of their peers and teachers.   Not an easy proposition.   However, the student response was impressive.

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Rosa Rodriguez Ortiz escorts Sean Larkin into today’s Life Skills classroom while Rosa’s fellow students stand as a sign of respect to our guest.

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Rosa introduces Sean to her classmates

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Shakira Figueroa leads the class in an individual greeting and welcome.  Sean’s reaction was interesting.  “Your students made me feel welcome.  Good firm handshakes.  Great eye contact and smiles.  This was good.  Helped me relax.”