Today’s Class: March 9, 2018

We had two guests today.   First,

Junior Jabbe, the newly named President and CEO of Banneker Industries,

an international supply chain company located in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Jabbe - IMG_4881

Ayo Onajide inspects the business card of Banneker Industries President and CEO, Junior Jabbe (brown top coat) as both men exchange greetings before today’s class.   Walter Jimenez networks in the background introducing Ralph Waite  to Banneker Industries’ David Grant during the ‘before class’ networking outside the classroom.

Joining Junior was David Grant, a Bryant College graduate and fellow executive at Banneker.

Jabbe 2 - IMG_4885

Walter Jimenez welcomes David Grant and Junior Jabbe to Hope High School. Walter asks David Grant how he would like to be introduced, by Walter, to his classmates for the introduction portion of today’s class.

Today’s Homework: March 2, 2018

1.   After reading the “11 Habits of Supremely Happy People”  we distributed in class today, please tell me which of the 11 habits listed in the article you already possess.  Please send your answer WITH PERFECT SPELLING, CORRECT PUNCTUATION, AND SHORT SENTENCES to my email address by Tuesday, March 6th, before I go to bed.  Thank you.

2. Next, please tell me which of the 11 habits listed in the article you need to work on to develop.  Please send your answer WITH PERFECT SPELLING , CORRECT PUNCTUATION, AND SHORT SENTENCES to my email address by Tuesday, March 6th, before I go to bed.  Thank you.

3. Next week’s guest is Junior Jabbe.  When you meet him on Friday, I am confident you’ll find him interesting, entertaining, thought provoking, inspiring, and charismatic.  Seguro!!!!!   Please check out his LinkedIn site and send a “CONNECT” request from your LinkedIn site.  Please let me know if he “connects” with you.  Thank you.

Today’s Class: March 2, 2018

No guest today.  Instead,

a conversation about “happiness”.

We began by reading an article entitled “11 Habits of Supremely Happy People” by Dr Travis Bradberry, the award-winning author of the #1 best selling book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0“, and the co-founder of TalentSmart⎯a consulting company that serves more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies.

The article explored the relationship between “happiness” and “success”.  

Then, each student was given a personal inventory asking them to reflect on their current habits and attitudes which could correlate to their success.  Each student’s inventory was anonymous.

Me 4 - IMG_4879

Me 3 - IMG_4877Me - IMG_4870

Today’s Homework: February 23, 2018

1.  Yes or No  –  Are you interested in applying for a paid, summer internship at CVS?  Please send me your answer to my email address before I go to bed on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

2. Please watch the following video about interviewing techniques.  Please remember what impressed CVS during Aimon’s interview for her summer internshipAimon did research on CVS before her interview and learned about CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes at their stores.  She then asked her CVS interviewer why CVS made the decision to stop selling cigarettes.  Aimon’s research and her question about the company’s decision impressed her interviewers.  Her interview performance created a very positive personal brand for her. She was perceived as being proactive, curious, prepared, hard working and someone who really wanted to be part of the company.   As a result, CVS interviewers thought Aimon would be a great person to hire.    After watching this video, please tell me something you will tell the CVS interviewer about yourself or something you’ve done that will hopefully convince them you will be a great intern at CVS during the summer of 2018. Please send me your answer in a well written statement to my email address before I go to bed on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

Today’s Class: February 23, 2018

Today’s class introduced the

Hope Life Skills PAID SUMMER INTERNSHIP program.

While representatives from CVS Health explained the internship opportunities and the application process, Life Skills graduates,

Aimon Foreman and Yael Torres, shared their internship experiences from last summer at CVS Health.

cvsmatt 5- IMG_4825

Ashley Charles (left in photo) welcomes Matt Lague (arms folded to the right of Ashley), CVS Health analyst and Internship Program coordinator, to Hope High before the start of today’s class. Please note in the background of this photo Hope Life Skills student Oladipupo Ojekunle (blue sweatshirt) welcoming Kaydi McQuade, the President of Back Pocket Resources, a temporary worker placement agency, to today’s class.

cvsmatt 3 - IMG_4823

Marianella Galan Jimenez (left with plaid shirt) welcomes former Life Skills students and CVS Health summer interns, Yael Torres (in the ROTC uniform) and Aimon Foreman, to today’s class.

Today’s Homework: February 16, 2018.

  1. Please imagine you are an applicant to the FBI.   After reviewing the blog posted on this web site about the personal brand the agency looks for in their agents, please list all qualities and attributes you have which would make you a realistic candidate for the FBI.  Please make sure your self evaluation takes into consideration your social media presence, your physical fitness, and the perception your coaches and supervisors and teachers have of your dependability and reliability as well as your special talents, skills and experiences ( For example, note your ability to speak multiple languages, leadership positions you’ve held in team sports or jobs, affiliation with organizations like ROTC, if you’ve been chosen to represent your school, church or other organization at a special event, conference or Forum, special awards you’ve received or any internship you’ve competed for and awarded.) Please send your well written answer with perfect spelling, punctuation and capitalization, good grammar and short sentences to my email address before I go to bed on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.  Thank you.
  2. Please imagine yourself again as an FBI agent applicant. After reflecting on your personal brand, please identify areas you need to improve upon to become a realistic applicant for the FBI.   Please send your well written answer with perfect spelling, punctuation and capitalization, good grammar and short sentences to my email address before I go to bed on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.  Thank you.

Tdoay’s Guest: The Federal Bureau of Investigations – FBI

That’s right, the FBI!!!

An FBI special agent visited our class today to speak about her experience at the Bureau.

Our Hope Life Skills host today was Laisha Mendez.

First impressions mean a lot when the FBI is considering applicants to the agency.  We constantly observe how agent applicants handle themselves in different situations.  We evaluate their level of professionalism:   how they present themselves to others;  their eye contact, handshake, and their greeting to the person they meet;  how they sit in a meeting.  Did they show up on time?  Do they sit upright and pay attention or do they slouch in their chair and appear disinterested? 

The impressions this class created with me during our introductions today were exceptional. 

I have never seen this level of professionalism at any high school I’ve ever visited.  Impressive”  according to the FBI agent recruiter visiting today’s class.

FBI 5 - IMG_4798

Catherine Visono (left) and Jonasia Brown wait to be recognized by the visiting FBI agent for one of several questions posed by the class. For security reasons, we are not able to identify nor post any photographs of the FBI agent.

The FBI recruiter spoke about the application process.

There are intense background checks

of every applicant.  We speak to your teachers, job supervisors, coaches and neighbors.  We do a criminal background check as well as researching your cyber presence;  this means, what you post on Facebook and Instagram and the various web sites you visit. 

We pretty much know everything there possibly is about you. 

Then, we make a decision, i.e. do we want this person in the agency?  Will they represent us well?   Can they be trusted?”

The recruiter spoke about the

importance of physical fitness, a college degree

and the wide variety of jobs offered in the agency. “There’s a strenuous physical and psychological testI went to


for a few months for my physical test and New York for a multi-hour interview by 3 senior agents”  our visiting FBI agent stated.  “Most agents have college degrees. We have agents working in a wide variety of fields.  We have interpreters.  Cyber security specialists.  We have accountants.  Robot specialists.  Negotiators.”  

The agent then spoke about the advantages of the students in this class

“If you meet the academic, physical, and psychological requirements,

the FBI is looking for multi-lingual applicants and the agency also wants to be more diverse. 

This means the agency wants more women and people of color.” 

Today’s class finished with a networking opportunity where students exchanged business cards with our visiting FBI agent.

Today’s Homework: February 2, 2018

1.  One more step to take with your resume.  I returned to you today your resume with my suggestions written on the page.  Please use my suggestions to refine the format and information on your resume.  Please give me your revised resume at the start of next week’s class.  Please use Jessicaliz’s resume format shown below:  start with a brief summary, then the skills you have shown in school, a school activity or job, then list your work experience, education, and then special awards or recognition (if you’ve been a captain of a team or lead role in a play or choir or student council, etc.  Rosa, Laisha and Eveline, list your selection as our class representative at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law and CSI).


Great Resume! Check out the sequence: Summary, then Skills, Experience, Education followed by Awards/Special Recognition


2. There are multiple opportunities for PAID summer internshipsCVS Health. Collette Tours.  Books on the Square have already committed for this summer.   Check out their web sites to see if you’d like to apply.  I am working on getting more summer internships.  You will be competing with other students in this class for these PAID internships.  You will be expected to have resumes at your interviews.   Internships are impressive on resumes AND college applicationsLet me know if you have any questions and are interested in summer internships at these companies.

3.  We have already identified 3 students to represent us in Washington, D.C. this July at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Law and CSI:  Rosa Rodriguez, Eveline Silva and Laisha Mendez.  I just received another donation to sponsor ONE MORE STUDENT.  Please check out the National Youth Leadership Forum web site ( and let me know if you are interested in representing us at the Forum with Rosa, Eveline and Laisha.

Today’s Class: February 2, 2018

Today’s guest was Neil Amper, Vice President at Capstone, a commercial real estate company.   Our host today was Lisanyis Gonzalez.


Lisanyis welcomes Neil Amper to the Hope Life Skills class


Lisanyis introduces Neil to the Life Skills class


Walter Jimenez welcomes Neil to today’s class following Lisanyis’s introduction. Walter has perfect networking techniques: eye contact, welcoming smile, a firm handshake and a genuine greeting – “good morning. My name is Walter. Thank you for coming to our class.”  Ayo Onajide (black coat) and Johnny Ruiz (red jacket) follow Walter to do the same.


Neil begins to share his amazing story with the class.

 “I grew up very fortunate” Neil said.  “My family was very rich. 

We had an 8,000 square foot home with servants who lived in a special wing of our home.  I went to private schools.   We had our own plane.  Went on beautiful vacations.  I ran one division of our family’s company.  By the time I was 28 year’s old, I was worth $10, million dollars.  Until one Sunday evening, when

my father called me to tell me our company was bankrupt. We were out of business. 

Today’s Homework: January 2, 218

Please answer each of the following 5 homework questions.  And, if you have time, please watch the video at the end.  It’s not just about wrestlingIt’s a story about pushing forward when life gets tough.  For those afraid to push out of your comfort zone, who may be thinking about giving up because of life’s many challenges, I hope the story of Dartanyon and Leroy will inspire and empower you to do more than you think possible.

1.  Go to your site on LinkedIn.  Click on “My Network” tab at the top of the LinkedIn site.   Tell me the number of connections you have.  Please send your answer to me in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

Network - IMG_4747

Please check the upper part of the photo to see “My Network”, “Messaging” and “Notifications” tabs

Network 2 - IMG_4749

Please note the number of “Connections” cited on the left side of this photo.

2. Go to your site on LinkedIn.  Tell me the name of the last person you asked to connect with you on LinkedIn.  Please send my your answer in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you..

3. Go to your site on LinkedIn.  Tell me the name of the last person you were notified about through the “Notifications”  tab at the top of the LinkedIn site.  The Notifications tab encourages you to send a note of  “congratulations” or “happy birthday” through LinkedIn.  Please tell me the name of the last person you connected with in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

Network 3 - IMG_4757

Please see the “congratulations” message I sent to Kayla Jaffe.

4.   Yes” or “No” – have you connected with last Friday’s guest, Olivia, yet on LinkedIn?  Please send me your answer in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

5.  Please tell me the CVS Health department you would like to meet someone during our April 12 visit to the corporate campus of the $180 Billion dollar, international company, CVS Health.  For example, I would image Ayo will write something like this –  “Mr Cronin, I would like to meet someone who works in the IT department at CVS.”   Please send me your answer in an email by Tuesday, February 6th, before I go to bed. Thank you.

6.  Please watch this video.  I hope it inspires and empowers you to try harder and do what you once thought you could not do.