Hiatus Homework


I hope you are all doing well during this virus quarantine.

We have an opportunity to come out of this quarantine wiser and more prepared for college and lifetime success than before the quarantine.

Successfully ‘managing time‘ is a skill critical for becoming the person you hope to be. To make sure we are wiser after the quarantine, you and I must manage our time during the quarantine wisely.   Please don’t forget, you’re always competing against other students from high schools all over the United States for college acceptance, scholarships, and eventually, for jobs and careers.  Let me change this statement –  ‘you are competing against students from all over the world for college scholarships and eventually jobs and careers!!!‘     This is the reality of the time we live in.  If you wish to be successful, in any endeavor, you must manage your time wisely.

Consequently, I am asking you to complete this assignment as a way of helping you become wiser and, as a result, more competitive and successful in a global marketplace for college scholarships and jobs/careers.  The goal of this assignment is for you to think creatively and use empathy in your questions to get important answers you are interested in.   Creative, empathetic questioning skills with the self confidence to ask them will be invaluable throughout your entire life to become the successful person you aspire to be.

Please list a unique question for each of the 25 people on the homework list.

I believe your questions should vary according to the person you are speaking to.  For instance, the question you ask the #1 person in the list, Dr Fauci who is heading President Trump’s team of doctors dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, would probably be different from #22, an extra terrestrial you happen to meet.

The purpose of this lesson is for you to use empathy to understand the background of each person and the expertise they have from their experiences.   Secondly, this lesson is focused on developing your questioning skills because they are so important to your personal and professional development in life.
I look forward to reading your questions to each of the 25 people in our list.

If you have any questions about this assignment, please email or text them to me.

Please send your answers to my email address before Sunday, April 19.   Thank you.  I look forward to your questions.


Questions Are More Important Than Answers!

You’ve heard me say this repeatedly in our Life Skills class.  Questions are asked to get answers to issues you’re curious about or interested in.  There is no answer without a question preceding it.  Questions ARE NOT ASKED TO HURT OR EMBARRASS SOMEONE.  QUESTIONS SHOULD BE ASKED RESPECTFULLY TO GET INFORMATION THAT MATTERS TO YOU.

“Questions” book cover

Here is an activity I am asking you to complete.   Email or text me with questions which prevent you from answering any part of this homework.

FIRSTplease read pages 1 through 15 in the “Questions” book that is posted on our web site. You can read more pages in the book; it’s an interesting and thought provoking book.

NEXT – I have listed the names of a number of people below.  SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ARE DECEASED.  I still would like you to ask them a question.

IMAGINE – you are very comfortable pushing out of your comfort zone to respectfully ask specific questions to the people listed below to get an answer you’re curious about or that is important to YOU.


FINALLY – Please send the question to ask each person listed below to my email address (stevecronin1949@gmail.com). Please write your questions so I can understand them. I am very interested in your questions.


1. Doctor Anthony Fauci is an American immunologist who is one of President’s Trumps key members of the country’s Coronavirus Task Force fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times newspaper called Fauci “the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease”. Dr Fauci was a point guard on his high school basketball team in New York City. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

the reincarnated one, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

2. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th reincarnation of the 1st  Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, who was born in 1391. The Dalai Lama is the title given to the religious leader of Tibet, a once independent country but taken over by China in 1951.  Tibetans believe the Dalai Lama has been reincarnated 14 times since 1391.-


3. Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft and the world’s 2nd richest person who happened to be an just average college student, predicted in 2015 the world would be under attack by a virulent virus in the near future (2020). _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Harrison Peters

4.  Harrison Peters – new Superintendent of Providence Public Schools – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5. Matthew Buchanan, Principal Hope High School – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
6. Martin Luther King Jr – celebrated American civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner (1964)- __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
7. Melania Trump, wife of the President of the United States, Donald Trump – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
8. Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
9. The smartest, hardest working, most humble, honest, successful Harvard University student with a future seemingly destined for great success who graduated from an American inner city public school __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
10. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company Blue Origin. Bezos, as a young boy, was adopted by a Cuban immigrant living in America married to Bezos’ Mom. Jeff Bezos today is the “richest man in the world” (total worth approximately $150 BILLION), __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. DJ Khalad (American DJ, record producer, radio personality, and record executive) – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
12. Billie Eilish (Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/designer) – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
13. Selina Gomez – American singer, songwriter, actress, and television producer – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
14. Barack Obama – former President of the United States __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
15. Ali Khamenei – The Supreme Leader of the country of Iran. Khamenei has repeatedly defended his country’s citizens threat of “Death to America”.
16. Catalina Martinez, a scientist and oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with multiple Master’s degrees in Biological Oceanography, Marine Affairs, and Business Administration, who grew up in poverty in Providence and was forced to drop out of high school to care for her family.   With the help of a mentor, she returned to school and followed her passion to get multiple college degrees in marine studies.

Catalina Martinez (seated) showing Hope High Life Skills students video from one of her explorations of the ocean’s floor during one of her month long voyages at sea.


17. The smartest, hardest working, most honest, humble, respectful, and successful Hope High Student with a future seemingly destined for great success __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
18. Sergey Brin, an immigrant to America who eventually graduated from Stanford University to become one of the Founders of Google (Google is an American technology company that sells Internet-related services and products all over the world like online advertising and search engine technology. Google is considered one of the world’s Big Four technology companies with Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft) – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
19. Marta Aparicio – Guatemalan immigrant who left her parents’ Providence home to live on her own during her senior year at Hope High School (2010), a 2014 Georgetown University graduate, and Columbia University International Studies Graduate school graduate in 2020 and soon-to-be United States diplomat serving at a US Embassy some place in the world – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
20. The most interesting and impressive person you have met this year at a Life Skills activity – Please name the person and your question to this person
PERSON’S NAME _________________________________________
21. The smartest, kindest, most successful, respectful, hardest working, African American or Hispanic student with a future seemingly destined for great success at LaSalle Academy  – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
22. An extraterrestrial visitor who happens to come to earth from another planet beyond our Galaxy and appears to you when you are alone in your home. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
23. The most disruptive Hope High student you are aware of whose behavior creates trouble/distractions in the school and, as a result, makes it difficult for Hope High to establish a ‘culture of learning’ for all the conscientious students to learn important skills and behaviors to become the best, smartest, and most successful people they can be. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
24. Jesus Christ  –  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
25. Name a person, alive or dead, you would like to meet AND, then, tell me a question you would like to ask this person –
Name of the PERSON __________________________________________________
YOUR QUESTION – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Coronavirus Homework

I hope you are all doing well during these challenging times. I know you miss our class and the interesting guests and lessons which take place like I do. I will soon follow this blog with a homework assignment relevant to the goals and mission of the Hope Life Skills class. In the meantime, stay safe.

Today’s Class: March 6, 2020

Today’s guest was Jeshua Zapata,

the President of Xzito, a full service marketing agency focusing on delivering measurable results for his customers through expert, creative marketing using new technology and, as a result, increasing the ROI (return on investments or business success) of his clients.

Today’s host was Josiah Diaz,

who welcomed Jeshua to Hope High School and the Hope Life Skills class.

Josiah (right) introduces Jeshua to his classmates to start today’s class.

Josiah‘s classmates introduce themselves to Jeshua and welcome him to the Life Skills class.

Jeshua begins his story of success from his humble beginnings part of an immigrant family in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to pushing out of his comfort zone enrolling among more privileged students at Bryant University majoring in business, developing a network of successful people, and then fulfilling his entrepreneurial dream by starting his company, Xzito.

I didn’t let my humble beginnings in Central Falls and attending a school with a terrible brand like Central Falls High School prevent me from being the person I wanted to be.  

Today’s Homework: February 14, 2020

  1.  Create your job resume and send it to my email address by Wednesday, February 19, 2020, using the format below:


Stephen Cronin

15 Andrew Court

Swansea, Ma   02777

401-374-7603                                                                                                                              stevecronin1949@gmail.com


I am a highly motivated, organized, dependable, creative high school student with team building and communication skills.



  • Responsibility; Dependability
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer: Word, Excel, Python
  • Multi-Lingual: English, Mandarin, French


  • Hope Life Skills Program: an elective, credited course introducing and developing life skills like networking, time management, data collection and analysis, collaboration, written, verbal observation, and listening as well as behaviors like pushing out of one’s comfort zone, empathy, and respect for life time success. The program foundation rests upon the importance of personal brand and the development of specific life skills for building a network of successful, reputable professionals to create career opportunities and mentors for lifetime success.  2019 -2020
  • Future Forum: an annual event with corporate futurists from companies like Data Robot, Bank of America, Accenture, Brown University, and Citizens Bank together with a diverse group of students from private and public schools for a collaboration using design thinking to solve problems or create entrepreneurial opportunities.   December 2019
  • CVS Jobs and Career Day: annual visit to the corporate offices of this $200 billion dollar company to learn about the culture and career opportunities within the company as well as meeting with staff members in individual departments to learn about specific jobs (pharmacy, logistics graphic design, merchandising, digital services, analytics, finance, store management, etc ) each student has an interest in.
  • Babysitting: family babysitting and meal preparation responsibilities
  • Subway: Shift Manager at the Broadway, Providence store.


  • Hope High School: Class of 2020
  • Soccer Team 2018, 2019, 2020
  • St Michael’s Church Choir

Special Awards/Recognition

  • Soccer Team captain: 2019, 2020
  • Hope High School Honor Roll: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Rhode Island Honor Society: 2019, 2020

Today’s Class: February 14, 2020

Today was a SHOUT OUT class!!!

This simply means the class mission today was identifying RECENT exceptional student behavior.  First recognition was directed to Lydia Watkins for the exceptional development of her personal brand and networking skills to create an opportunity for a meeting at the corporate headquarters of CVS Health in Woonsocket, RI during the Hope High Life Skills class visit on March 27th.   Lydia will be meeting with the digital beauty team about a 6-8 week paid summer internship!!    Second was Innocent Byiringiro for collaborating with Mr. Cronin to create a meeting with professional photographer, Aaron Usher, an architectural and Fine-Art photographer who shares Innocent’s passion for photography.   Mr Usher will be visiting the Hope Life Skills class on May 29th.  Next, Jarlene Carona for great networking with Camberly Mariconi, a Brown University volleyball player and pre-med student.  Jarlene followed her initial meeting with Camberly during February 7th Life Skills class with an appreciative text message.  Camberly is majoring in a field of study that Jarlene has an interest in.  Next step, Jarlene is planning her ‘ask’ to Camberly;  maybe a visit to the Brown University campus to accompany Camberly to a couple of pre-med Brown University classes.  Stay tuned!    Mariely Brito and Omayra Corporan have been selected to represent the Hope Life Skills class at this summer’s 5 day National Youth Leadership Forum on CSI and Law in Washington, D.C.  While the cost of going to the Forum in more than $3,000 per participant, Mariely and Omayra, if they choose to go, will go FREE OF CHARGE thanks to the donations of several Rhode Island companies who support the Hope Life Skills program.   Mr Cronin also announced he will be looking to select 1 or 2 or 3 more students with great personal brands to accompany Mariely and Omayra to the Forum.  Juan Severino was mentioned today for collaborating with Mr Cronin to get a meeting with Ed Ithier, the Director of Development at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, when the Life Skills class visits the University campus on April 9th.   Ed Ithier was a star high school basketball player at one of New York City’s premier high school basketball programs, St Raymond’s High School in the Bronx.  Mr Ithier was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at South New Hampshire University.  Ed Ithier is in Southern New Hampshire University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.   And, finally, Josiah Diaz is collaborating with Mr Cronin to create a meeting with Sally Lapides, the owner of Residential Properties, one of the largest and most successful Real Estate companies in Rhode Island.  Josiah has an interest in Real Estate and asked Mr Cronin to connect him with a successful realtor in his network.   Sally will be a guest at the Hope Life Skills class on May 15.  Josiah wants to connect with Sally prior to her visit to Hope High.

Jarlene Carona (standing) extends her business card to Brown University’s Camberly Mariconi during the networking section of last week’s class when members of the Brown University’s Women Volleyball team visited the Hope Life Skills class.

David Narvaez (red fleece) speaks with Ed Ithier (left of David in the photo above) during Mr Ithier’s visit to the Hope Life Skills class in the spring of 2019.

Today’s Homework: February 7, 2020

  1.  Please tell me if there was anything spoken by the Brown University student athletes or coaches that made you think about your life NOW or your plans for the FUTURE.   If there was nothing any of the athletes or coaches said that made you think about what you’re doing now or plan to do in the future, it’s ok;  simply write “nothing, Mr Cronin”.   If there was something, however, the athletes or coaches said that made your reflect on what you’re doing or thinking about NOW or what you’re thinking about doing in your FUTURE, please share those thoughts with me.   This information will help me as I plan for other guests and the way I run our class.   Always trying improve the class to make it more helpful to you and your future.  Please send your well written response with perfect spelling, short sentences, and good grammar, punctuation, and capitalization to my email address before midnight on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.   As always, I look forward to your response.
  2. I was proud of you all today. You represented your brand and the brand of Hope High extremely well.

Today’s Class: February 7, 2020

TODAY’S class featured members of 2 Brown University Women’s athletic teams.

From the Women’s Softball team, Head Coaches Kate Refsnyder and Assistant Coach Karavin Dew and second baseman Kaitlin Okimoto, outfielder and pitcher Lauren Long, and pitcher Emily Waters.  From the Brown University Volleyball team, Assistant Coaches Katie Reifert and Eryn Riley and Outside Hitters Camberly and Gabrielle Moriconi, and Defensive Specialist Ashley Oelrich.

Our Hope Life Skills student hosts for this class were Faith Souza, Mariely Brito, and Ambar Tavarez.

Mariely (yellow blouse) and Ambar (right of Mariely) welcome members of the Brown University Volleyball team outside the Life Skills classroom prior to the start of today’s class.

After welcoming members of the Brown University softball team outside the classroom, Faith Souza escorts the team into the Life Skills classroom and then introduces each member to her classmates prior to the start of today’s class.

Mariely likewise introduces members of the Brown University volleyball team to her classmates.

Following Faith, Mariely, and Ambar’s introductions, each member of the Life Skills class introduces themselves to the Brown University women athletes and coaches and then welcomes them to their class.  Katelyn Taverez is shown above welcoming Head Softball coach, Kate Refsnyder, to the Hope Life Skills class as Nehemias Rojas follows Katelyn to do the same.

Innocent Byiringiro extends a warm welcome to Assistant Softball Coach Karavin Dew before proceeding to introduce himself and welcome other Brown University student athletes and coaches to his class.

Following the introductions and greetings, the Brown University student athletes and coaches begin to share their personal stories and perspectives about being a ‘student athlete‘ as well as their transition from their homes in Texas, California, Florida, and Ohio to the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island.  The photo above shows the Brown athletes responding to Ambar’s question about balancing the rigors of athletics and academics while finding a little time for leisure and fun. TIME MANAGEMENT became an important topic of conversation as well as how best to manage the occasional stress that comes along with being a student in college.    “Exercise” according to softball second baseman, Kaitlin Okimoto Kaitlin spoke about the data behind the benefits of exercise and how running has helped her manage stressful times during the year.

Today’s Class: January 31, 2019

Our guests today were Ellisa Cox and Omi Hopper.  Both women are employed by Sephora,

a French international chain of personal care and beauty stores featuring nearly 300 brands of makeup products.  Sephora offers beauty products including cosmetics, skin care, body fragrance, nail color and haircare.  The company was founded in France in 1969 with its present headquarters in the French city of Paris.

Both women also have personal investments in other activities. 

Besides being a Manager at Sephora, Omi has her own makeup company called Bellisima (Facebook & Instagram: BellisimaMUA).   Ellisa is presently a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Today’s host was Hope High School’s own makeup artist extraordinaire, Lydia Watkins.

Lydia Watkins (left) welcomes Omi (center) and Ellisa to the Hope LIfe Skills class prior to the start of today’s class.

Lydia introduces Omi and Ellisa to her classmates at the beginning of today’s class.

Following Lydia’s introductions, students welcome Omi and Elissa to Hope High and the Hope Life Skills class.  Jarlene Carona leads the way by greeting Omi while Kately Taverez welcomes Ellisa in the foreground.

Omi and Ellisa begin to share their personal stories of stepping out of their comfort zone to pursue what they’re passionate about, developing and using their personal brands to build networks of successful people which helped both women create career opportunities.  Omi and Ellisa also shared their aspirations for their future.

Today’s homework: January 10, 2019

  1.  After listening to Raymond during today’s class, please describe Raymond’s personal brand.  Use adjectives and descriptive statements which identify your perception of Raymond’s brand.   Send your well written description to my email address by Tuesday, January 14, 2019.  Please make sure your description is comprised of short sentences with perfect spelling, using correction punctuation (periods, commas, etc), and capitalization.   Thank you.
  2.  Complete and turn in this survey I handed out in class today to me at next week’s class if you want to go on our class trip to CVS Health corporate offices on March 27 AND our visit to Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire on April 9.    Please write your answers neatly so I can read them.  Your answers will help me get the answers to your career and college questions.

Today’s Homework: January 3, 2019

Please let me know if you will commit to going on the following field trips.  Please send me an email stating your answer as either  “YES”, you will go, OR “NO”, you will not be able to go by Thursday, January 9th-  Thank you.

1) April 9th; Thursday –  a trip to Southern New Hampshire University.   They have some interesting, 21st century majors at this school (cyber security, robotics, engineering, 3D modeling and animation, finance, nursing, sports management, web design, unmanned aerial systems, sociology, graphic design, psychology, data analytics, international business, entrepreneurship, etc), and impressive support services for students.  The Director of Development is a personal friend who has been supporting our Life Skills program for over 10 years, Ed Ithier.   Departure time –  8am –  Return time –  5pm  There will be a tour of the campus.  Students will have lunch on campus.

  • Ed Ithier will have student and faculty members from the school’s diversity office and Learning center part of this event.      
  • SNHU students will speak about – 
    • their transition from their high schools to SNHU
    • time management – why time management skills are critical to success in college and life
    • what it’s like going to a college in the city of Manchester, New Hampshire, 2 1/2 hours from Providence
    • SNHU’s heralded student internship program
    • what are the biggest challenges and greatest advantages going to this university
    • what is the cost and how do you pay for this quality education
    • support services on campus that ensure students will be successful, i.e. graduate with a meaningful major and get a good paying job right out of college.
  • SNHU faculty will speak about –
    • expectations –  
      • what do professors expect from their students
      • what should students expect from their professors
      • how much reading should students expect
      • how much writing should students expect
      • what advice professors have for incoming students to SNHU
      • what is the ideal student/professor relationship for student success

PLEASE ALSO LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN SPECIFIC COURSES OR MAJORS OR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES; FOR EXAMPLE, MARKETING, SOCCER, ROBOTICS, ETC.  I will ask Ed Ithier if he can ask a student or faculty member in your area of interest to meet with you.

David Narvaez (red pull over) speaking with Ed Ithier (left) at a Hope Life Skills class last year.


2) March 27th –  Hope Life Skills Annual CVS Health Jobs and Career Day at the CVS Health corporate campus in Woonsocket, RI.   Departure time –  8:15am  – Return time –  2pm

Corporate executives will speak about the culture of this $220 BILLION dollar company;  what employees can expect from CVS Health and what the company expects from their employees.

Each student will pick from an assortment of jobs at this company they have an interest in.  For instance, cosmetics, pharmacist, graphic design, store management, digital services, marketing (collection and analysis of customer data that determines the coupons a customer gets when they buy something at a store, what specific store shelf a product is placed, what products are sold in individual stores because the same products you find in St Paul, Minnesota, may not be the same products you find in a CVS store in Miami, etc) logistics (i.e. getting products delivered from the factory the product is made to the warehouse the product is stored to the store in a specific city the product is sold).  Students will then break out into small groups to speak with a CVS employee working in a job each student has expressed an interest in. 

Lunch and networking with CVS employees ( conversations and business card exchanges).

Hope Life Skills students meeting with CVS Marketing Analytic specialists during the CVS JOBS and CAREER day at the CVS Health campus in Woonsocket, RI.   Topic for this meeting focused on a career in marketing analytics and the value of these skills in the 21st century job market.