BIF 2017 Field Trip: September 13, 14

Hope Life Skills students arrived at 7:30am at Trinity Theatre

in downtown Providence

to step out of their comfort zone

to network – meet, listen, and converse – with amazing storytellers from all over the world.  From artists and astronauts to entrepreneurs and educators,

32 change agents

making profound differences in the world shared their personal stories of challenges and eventual success on the Trinity Theatre stage at BIF 2017.   Our

Hope Life Skills students became part of a growing international community of BIF change agents.

The following video and pictures share the Hope Life Skills student experience at BIF 2017:

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Eveline Silva arriving at Trinity to register and is given her BIF Forum badge

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Ianique Imboque leaves the BIF registration desk as Nayely Furcal Marte and Rosa Rodriguez Ortiz adjust their names tags before proceeding into the theatre to meet members of the BIF community and expand their networks.

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Kelley Sellers registers at the BIF 2017 desk as Shakira Figueroa and Yaire Marquina examines their name tags

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Saul Kaplan, the Founder and Chief Catalyst at BIF (Business Innovation Factory), greets Shakira, Yaire, Keila and Marianella  in the lobby of Trinity Theatre

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Rosa Rodriguez, Jonasia Brown and Nayely Furcal Marte take part in the breakfast buffet before the start of the Forum

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Ayo Onajide networks with Courtlandt Butts, Equity Program Manager of the Pacific Educational Group, before the start of the Forum. Mr Butts gives Ayo his business card to continue the conversation after the Forum.

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Jonasia Brown networks with international engineer, Tom Silverman, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement, before the start of the Forum.  Francisco Gonzalez speaks with Shai Afsai at the next table.

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Nayely and Rosa network with Skylar and Gustavo, two students from another Providence area high school at BIF 2017.

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Ashley Charles and Francisco Gonzalez check out the crowd from the upper foyer during breakfast prior to the start of the Forum.

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Jonasia Brown and Eveline introduce themselves to Courlandt Butts, Equity Program Manager at Pacific Educational Group, before Courtlandt went on stage to share his story with the BIF audience.  Courtlandt turned out to be one of the most inspiring storytellers at BIF 2017.


Kelley Sellers (left), actress Krystal Hernandez (center) and Shakira Figueroa come together during one of the BIF breaks.  As a result of this encounter, Krystal will be sharing her story at one of our Life Skills classes. Please ask Kelley when Krystal will be coming to Hope.

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Saul Kaplan welcomes the audience on the first day of BIF 2017.

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Eveline, Laisha Mendez and Jonasia in the audience at BIF. Please note how Eveline is networking with one of the other BIF attendees in the audience.


Storyteller A.J. Paron-Wildes shares the story of her autistic son who finds his purpose through art.

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Devin Waldes shares the story of his art in one of BIF’s most inspiring stories.


Lunch at BIF on Day 1


Lunch during Day 2 a Bif 2017 with (right to left) Keila Otero, Marianella Galan Mendez, Johnny Montantez – Youth Corrdinator at AS220, another AS220 staff member and Stephen Cronin, Hope Life Skills teacher.


Ayo Onajide networking during lunch with two BIF community members.


Two amazing performing artists from Trinity Theatre, Curt Columbus (left) and Joe Wilson Jr., share their stories with the BIF community.


Swiss entrepreneur, Alexander Osterwalder, shares a story about mentoring his chidren’s first entrepreneurial adventure.


One of the thought provoking slides in Alexander’s presentation

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4 time Super Bowl winner, Joe Andruzzi of the New England Patriots, tells the story of  his battle with cancer and his life’s mission to help others battling the same disease.  See if you can see Joe Andruzzi’s Super Bowl rings on his right hand.


Keila and Marianella with Joe Andruzzi


BIF 2017 story teller and former CIA agent, Carmen Medina (center), with (left to right) Eveline, Laisha, Jonasia and Francisco


Kelley, Shakira, Ianique and Yaire network with Product Designer, Sidharath Chhatani, from Mumbai, India.


Courtlandt Butts begins his inspiring story of finding purpose in his life.


Story teller Antoinette Carroll shares her story of race and empathy at BIF 2017


Ashley Charles networks with Antoinette Carroll following Antoinette’s presentation at BIF 2017.


Mark Brand shares the story of his work serving and employing the homeless, why it’s important and inspiring everyone in the BIF audience and beyond to make a difference in their community.

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Mark Brand holds one of the tokens people can purchase and distribute to the homeless which they can exchange  for a healthy, hearty meal at his restaurant.

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Ashley networks with Dr. Ami Bhatt


Philip Sheppard, virtuoso cellist, composer and pioneer of the electric cello performs before the BIF community.  Philip has collaborated with major artists in pop music and has produced soundtracks for films.   He is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in England.





















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