Today’s Class: January 4, 2108

Mr Cronin with today’s guest, Marta Aparicio. He wanted the privilege of welcoming Marta to Hope and introducing her to the Life Skills class.

Today’s guest was Marta Aparicio.

2009 Hope Life Skills student.  2010 Hope High valedictorian.  Georgetown University full scholarship award winner and 2014 Georgetown graduate.   Follett Corporation Southeastern United States Director and Adjunct Professor at Miami Dade Community College.  And today, Columbia University Graduate Student in International Affairs with a Charles Rangel Fellowship who will be serving in the United States embassy in Bogota, Colombia this summer.


Mr Cronin introduces Marta to the students

Darwin Morales welcomes Marta to the class with perfect greeting skills – good handshake and eye contact, smile and a friendly greeting – before the start of today’s class. Great job, Darwin.

Today’s Homework: December 21, 2018

1.   Read the 38 pages in this pamphlet on “Change” I distributed in class today.   For those of you who don’t have this pamphlet, click on the “Study of Change” book icon on this web site.

2.  Do you think you’ve changed, something you feel good about,  – a skill, an attitude, an opinion, confidence in yourself, willingness to extend out of your comfort zone, communication skills, members of your network  – since the beginning of the school year?   YES or NO

3. Identify something you read in the “Change” pamphlet – a phrase, quote, or statement – which resonated with you, made you reflect upon or caused you to think about.

4. There were several change agents mentioned in this “Change” pamphlet.   Identify one “Change agent” whose story interested you and impressed you more than the others.  Then, please explain why this ‘Change Agent’s’ story so impressed you.  Please send your well written statement to my email address with PERFECT SPELLING, WELL CONSTRUCTED, SHORT SENTENCES with proper punctuation and grammar by Tuesday, January 1st, 2019.  This is 11 days from today.  Please attempt to ‘change’ your traditional methods of managing your time so that you are able to complete this assignment sooner than you normally would.   Thank you.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Today’s Class: December 21, 2018

Christmas cookies to stimulate ideas and encourage constructive criticism!

Today, students provided Mr Cronin with

feedback on what they liked and what could be improved upon with classes and events during the first semester of the 2018 Life Skills program.

From events like BIF and the FUTURE FORUM and visits to LaSalle Academy and Providence College, to the quality of our class guests and Life Skills homework, students provided Mr Cronin with constructive feedback on all of the above.

Mr Cronin was especially interested in student feedback about Life Skills homework,

especially the reading and writing assignments he gives each week.   Mr Cronin prefaced this inquiry with this statement – “we have data about about student preparedness for college and the workplace.  First, Hope graduates have told us, most recently during our visit to Providence College, that they were not prepared for the reading and writing assignments given by their college professors.  Secondly, the President of a digital marketing company looking to fill a number of job openings in his company recently told me he was surprised by the number of applicants with college degrees who could not compose an effective email.  He told me ‘people in my company and many other companies need to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and prospects through email.’  Part of my responsibilities in the Life Skills class is to prepare you for this expectation.  Furthermore, I have learned I need to do a better job teaching time management skills.  Time management is an important skill for lifetime success.”

Jose Quintanilla and Selene Bun enjoy their treats!

Today’s Homework: December 14, 2018

Today’s HOMEWORK reading assignment.


  1.  I am asking for your opinionDo benefits, like protection from terrorist attacks, new medicines to cure diseases, personalized commercials sent to us, fun video games to play and smart phone technology to use,  justify, or make it ok, for companies and governments to continuously collect and use data about us all?    YES or NO.    If you said ‘yes’, please explain WHY you think it’s ok for governments and companies to collect and use data about us as long as we continue to have benefits like safety from terrorist attacks, new medicines to fight cancer and other diseases, personalized commercials sent to us, and fun video games to play.  If you said ‘no’, please explain WHY you don’t want governments and companies to have the right to collect and use data about us.  Please send your well written answer with PERFECT SPELLING and CAPITALIZATION, good punctuation and grammar, to my email address by Monday night, December 17, 2018.  Thank you.  THANK YOU.

Today’s Class: December 14, 2018

Today’s guest was Ray Nunez,

the Program Coordinator at Leadership Rhode Island.  Ray returned to the Life Skills class to review the results of the student strengths assessment survey, which the students took on October 19th, and answer any questions they might have.

Today’s host was Arthur Bonga.

Ray Nunez (right) was excited to see Hope Life Skills host, Arthur Bonga outside the classroom prior to the start of today’s class.

Today’s Class: December 7, 2018

Jason Roias, Hope High School 2014 graduate, recent candidate for the Providence City Council and co-Founder of “Hungry Fridays” –

a community service organization feeding the homeless of  the city, was the guest of the Hope Life Skills class.  

Today’s Hope Life Skills host was Darwin Morales.

Darwin welcomes Jason BACK to Hope High

Darwin introduces Jason to his Life Skills classmates at the start of today’s class.

Aaron Chy welcomes Jason to today’s class with a disarming smile and great eye contact.

Today’s Homework: December 7, 2018

1.  Please tell me if something you did during FUTURE FORUM 3 surprised you.  In other words, tell me if you did something at FUTURE FORUM 3  you previously had doubts you could do as successfully as you did.  You essentially pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and you felt good about what you did.  Please send this statement with perfect spelling, good grammar and punctuation and SHORT SENTENCES to my email address by Monday, December 10th.  Thank you.

2. YES or NO –  Have you sent a follow up email to at least one of the people you met during FUTURE FORUM 3?     Please send your answer to my email address by Monday, December 10th.  Thank you.

3.  Constructive Criticism –  what can I do to make FUTURE FORUM 4 next year better than this year’s event?  Please send your suggestion with perfect spelling, good grammar and punctuation and SHORT SENTENCES to my email address by Monday, December 10th.  Thank you.

Future Forum 3 – December 5, 2018

Jose Quintanilla (far right) presents his entertaining and enlightening marketing pitch for his team’s artificial intelligent (AI) company with his corporate team at FUTURE FORUM 3

FUTURE FORUM 3 was a conversation, an exercise, and an activity flavored with fun.

A conversation about Artificial Intelligence (AI)  and it’s impact on the world?  Yes, it was.   An exercise to develop creative thinking and collaboration skills?  What better way than students from 3 different high schools – Hope High, LaSalle Academy and Rocky Hill School – uninhibitedly sharing their creative ideas in a supportive, collaborative environment facilitated by successful, empowering professionals.  A networking activity to meet new people and build networks of diverse, successful, people to create lifetime opportunities for personal development and success?  The Forum proved to be a perfect venue for people to introduce themselves to each other, ask questions, exchange business cards, enjoy one an other’s company and display positive, personal brands over a delicious lunchFun, you ask?  Where else could so many enjoy each other’s company, fly drones, don virtual reality goggles, and be amazed at the magic of one of our visiting futurists, Roey Tzezana!?!   And, we won’t forget the insight from one, Lisbet Gomez, from Hope High School.  “It will always be about the data!, Mr Cronin”.    I concur.

Yes, it is, LisbetYes, it is.”

Yours truly opens FUTURE FORUM 3 with an introduction to two of the Forum’s featured speakers – (left) Dr Roey Tzezana, an Israeli “Futurist” and Artificial Intelligence expert and Melissa Cronin, a Managing Director at the international consulting company, Accenture, in their Technology Financial Services Division.

Today’s Homework: November 30, 2018

After reading “Lisbet’s Future Shopping Scenario” found below, please answer these 2 questions:

  1. What’s your reaction to the world Lisbet will be living sometime in her not too distant, 21st century future?  Do you like this world – yes or no – and then explain why you like or dislike it.  Please send your well written answer with PERFECT SPELLING, GOOD GRAMMAR and PUNCTUATION and SHORT SENTENCES to my email address by Monday evening, December 3rd.  Thank you.  I look forward to your opinions about Lisbet’s FUTURISTIC shopping life.
  2. . Why do you think I (Stephen Cronin) am giving you Lisbet’s Future Scenario to read just 5 days prior to FUTURE FORUM 3?  What possibly could my objective be for giving you this assignment at this time.  Please send your well written answer with PERFECT SPELLING, GOOD GRAMMAR and PUNCTUATION and SHORT SENTENCES to my email address by Monday evening, December 3rd.  Thank you.


Lisbet’s Future Food Shopping Scenario:    

Hello, Lisbet!   Welcome to Mr Cronin’s Superstore.” Sensors at the entrance of the store welcome Lisbet in her favorite ‘Lionel Messi’ voice as she proceeds into the store to get a shopping cart.  Lisbet still enjoys going to the market and the food shopping experience rather than simply ordering her food from her WeChat app for later, same day delivery.

As the cart handlebar completes a scan of her face and fingerprints, it immediately matches the results with the Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) profile of Lisbet and then quickly displays a list of the groceries she needs.  Lisbet’s AI profile has been scanning her food shopping habits for several years and, based on the data collected from the last time she shopped PLUS what’s been used and now missing in her ambient (IOT – Internet of Things) refrigerator and pantry, produces a list of items for her to buy.

Then, from her carriage handlebar, comes this message – “Let me know, Lisbet, if you’d like to add or subtract anything for this list.  And, based on what’s on your list and in your refrigerator, it looks like your diet will be needing some fiber and calcium.  Shall I add some milk and some almonds for a delicious spinach salad with salmon, strawberries, and asparagus I know you like?”   Lisbet smiles and responds “sure!”.     Lisbet then proceeds to make a few adjustments to the list based on the fact she’ll be hosting a dinner for three former classmates from her college, Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she majored in “ AI Marketing” and “Business”.   One of her classmates is from Florence, Italy and the other from the North End of Boston, so Lisbet will be making a few pasta dishes.  “I always make my own sauce, so let’s add tomatoes, garlic, cheese, lean beef and, of course, pasta for a few recipes I have in mind” she speaks to her shopping cart handlebar.  Instantly, the items appear on her revised list as well as the isle in the store where each item can be found.  “Will do, Lisbet” her cart responds to her additions.

Her autonomous shopping cart proceeds a few feet ahead of Lisbet and pauses as she checks out some ripe eggplants she considers adding to the dinner she’ll prepare for her visiting Loyola classmates.   As Lisbet places each item into her cart, cameras on the carts side bars recognize each item and sensors weigh the vegetables and fruits at the bottom of the cart before producing an item cost and the accruing total cost.

As Lisbet rounds the corner onto another isle, a well-dressed man raises his eyes from his mobile device to greet her.  From her AI Marketing classes, Lisbet realizes the important sales and marketing role the store concierge plays in a store, the access the concierges has to her data profile, and how well the concierge is paid.   “Hello Lisbet” the concierge says as Lisbet approaches.  “We’ve just received some deliciously, elegant Napa wines.  I understand your sister’s birthday will soon be here and I wanted to offer you a 15% discount on your first purchase of any one of our Napa Valley vineyard selections.  I know you and your sister like Christian Brothers wines.  Would you like a tasting of one of the most popular varieties?”  Lisbet just smiles and says “yes”.  The concierge knows her passion for Christian Brothers wines from her data profile.  Lisbet  accepts the tasting from a delicate wine glass.  “It’s wonderful” Lisbet tells the concierge. “I know she’ll love it.  Thank you so much.  I’ll take two bottles.”   The concierge responds “that’s great, Lisbet.  You can continue shopping while I gift wrap the bottles and bring them to you in a few minutes.”   The concierge then places each bottle on a table for a nearby android to place in a box and then gift wrap in beautifully designed wrapping paper with the Mr Cronin Superstore logo prominently yet elegantly displayed.

When the bottles are delivered, seemingly within one minute, Lisbet notices the colorful instructions on the wrapping paper encouraging her to scan her smart phone over the Mr Cronin Superstore logo for a video about a popular pasta recipe from the famous Italian chef, Giada Pamela De Laurentiis.  Ms De Laurentiis is an Italian-born American chef, writer, television personality, and the host of the current Food Network television program “Giada at Home”.  Lisbet has watched her guest appearances on NBC‘s Today show and has used some of her recipes in the past.

Lisbet finishes her shopping and glances at her smart phone to review the itemized list of her purchases and total cost.  She then says “ok” for her smart phone to instantly approve the purchase.  No need for cash or credit card.     In fact, there’s no store cashier or check out area in the store.  Lisbet’s phone utilizes her WeChat Wallet app which links to her bank and withdraws the money from Lisbet’s account to pay the bill.   If Lisbet forgets to use the app, the store would then withdraw the money from her account by the end of the day.   Lisbet has 3o days to dispute any charge.  The app works everywhere, from stores like Mr Cronin’s Superstore to restaurants and concert venues.  Stores like the app because there is no processing charge like the credit card companies charge them which the stores end up adding to their customers’ bill.  Customers like the app because of its ease and better security than credit cards.

Once Lisbet removes ALL her purchases from the cart and places them in her UBER autonomous, electric car, the cart guides itself back to the rack at the front of the store to await the next customer to interact with.   In Lisbet’s future, it will be illegal for anyone to drive cars.  Too dangerous; data has proven autonomous vehicles to be MUCH safer AND less expensive to own and use.  Research has shown only a few people miss owning a car because autonomous vehicles are easier and offer a more relaxing and productive ride; you can do other ‘stuff’ while riding an autonomous vehicle.   Most people and businesses will prefer autonomous services like UBER, GOOGLE, TESLA, LIFT, and Chinese autonomous competitors DIDI and BAIDU as well as hyper fast public transportation. Finally, Lisbet’s home will feature ambient devices and features which connect to the Internet of Things (IOT).   The Artificial Intelligence in LIsbet’s home will turn on her air conditioning or heating system to the temperature she likes as well as the lights on the first floor 10 minutes before her autonomous UBER ride turns into her driveway after work. Her coffee maker will have a warm coffee prepared to her liking minutes before she wakes up in the morning.   All of these things will happen in Lisbet’s future because of the significant amount of data collected about Lisbet and her habits.  Similar data will be collected on all people because everything people use and do will be collected by sensors which are connected to the Internet of Things (IOT).   Personal data will be continually collected, analyzed and used by companies and governments to make peoples’ lives easier and safer.


Today’s homework:   #1.  What’s your reaction to Lisbet’s future lifestyle?     #2. Why do you think Mr Cronin is giving you Lisbet’s Future Scenario to read?




Next Future Scenario –    High School Education.


Today’s Field Trip: November 30, 2018

Today’s Life Skills Class traveled across the city to visit LaSalle Academy,

a private, co-ed, college preparatory, Catholic High School of approximately 1,400 students off Smith Street.   The Hope Life Skills mission was multi-fold:

  1. extend an invitation to 15 LaSalle juniors to the Hope Life Skills’ Future Forum 3 at Hope High School on December 5th, from 9am to 1pm.  Conversations about Artificial Intelligence‘s disruptive influence on the world economy and the job market students will soon encounter will be discussed among Hope Life Skills students, student guests from LaSalle Academy and Rocky Hill School, and 25 corporate futurists from different parts of the world and United States.
  2. participate in Mr Cronin’s Life Skills conversation on “Personal Branding and Networking For Life Time Success
  3. tour one of Rhode Island’s most successful, private high schools, meeting friendly students and faculty, walking the corridors and explore classrooms, the field house, weight room, theatre, and enjoy a sumptuous lunch in LaSalle’s world class cafeteria with their new friends at the school.

Hope Life Skills students outside the school prior to their tour and meetings at LaSalle Academy

LaSalle Academy Administrator and 1968 Alum, Edward Cronan, escorts Hope students on a tour of the school’s field house

LaSalle’s weight room

Hector Guerrero and Kevin Torres order and quickly receive their delicious luncheon order.

Hope Students were escorted to the cafeteria by several of their LaSalle student hosts and then sat and conversed with them through the luncheon.