Today’s Homework: September 29, 2017

1. Read pages 1 through 49 in “The Future” book posted on this web site.   Take special note and review of the photos and the captions beneath each throughout this book.  This assignment will be relevant to many of our activities and classes in the Hope Life Skills class as we introduce and develop skills and behaviors for future success.  Part of your life’s challenge will be to identify careers and opportunities for your success.  We will have many class activities and conversations about ‘the future’ this year in Hope Life Skills.  The reading of this book is our first step to inspire you to think about artificial intelligence’s effect on future career and entrepreneurial opportunities.


2.   After reading “The Future” book, please send me  a well written statement identifying a career interest you might pursue as of June 2023.   Next, please explain why you are interested in this opportunity and why you feel this is a realistic opportunity in an age of increasing artificial intelligence (robots, smart devices, algorithms, computer programs, etc.).  Rest assured, there is no correct answer.  I’m interested in you telling me what you think is possible and might enjoy doing at the same time.  Please make sure your statement has perfect spelling and punctuation, good grammar, and NO RUN ON SENTENCES.   Please make sure you send your answer to my email address NO LATER THAN SUNDAY, October 8th.  Thank you.

3. If you have any questions about this assignment, feel free to email me your questions.   I look forward to reading your answers.

4.  Our next class will meet in Room 117 NOT 112!

5.  For those students who did not complete our  last homework assignment listed below on this web site – Today’s Homework, September 15th –  it’s not too late.  Please send me your late homework assignment(s) to my email address as soon as possible.  Thank you.

6.  Here’s a video to inspire your creative thinking for the career interest in the year 2023 you’ll be sharing with me as part of the homework assignment listed above in #2.  This video is one person’s perspective on the future.   My hope is this video will inspire you to think creatively, innovatively, of something you’d like to do in your future, possibly creating your own company with a unique idea or product or possibly working for an existing company to provide new ideas for its future success.  I look forward to your answer to your career interest in the year 2023.   Rest assured, there is no correct answer.  It is what you think is possible and might enjoy doing at the same time.

Today’s Class: September 29, 2017

Today’s class became the latest installment of

a Sherlock Holmes like mystery – “The Case of The Homework Abductions”.

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The Hope Life Skills Weekly Compliance Report: attendance, i.e. who’s here, who’s not, who’s late and not, as well as homework status

8 student homework assignments from the September 15th class were delivered to Mr Cronin’s email address.

“Only 8!

a perplexed Mr Cronin exclaimed in class.  23 homework assignments were missing!   The knee jerk assumption was ‘hackers!!’.   Could this be the work of those same dastardly, cyber disrupters who infiltrated the Home Depot and Target web sites last year?  “Is nothing safe on the internet today?” a frustrated Mr Cronin sighed.

What to do?

Only one way to proceed -

ask the question

‘why’.  And, what better

 way than the time-tested index card exercise!

Today’s Homework: September 15, 2017

1. Read pages 1 through 28 in the “Questions” book posted on this web site.  Just click on the book to read pages 1 through 28.   Then, in a well written statement with perfect spelling and grammar and short sentences -

  • the “Questions” book shares a story about the company IDEO.  Why does the company IDEO try so hard to make sure their employees are comfortable asking questions?
  • name a person you either know or have read about and tell me a question you would like to ask this person?
  •   Please send your answers to my email address no later than Sunday, September 24.  Thank you.

2.  Check out the two photos below from our blog posted entitled, “Field Trip: September 13 and 14″.  Alexander Osterwalder shares his belief about  ‘failure‘.  The slide Alexander Osterwalder’s presented to the BIF audience reads – “What is Success?”   “Why I want my kids to fail!”  Please tell me why you think Alexander Osterwalder “wants his kids to fail” as they create their first business, a graphic comic book for children.  Please send your answer to my email address no later than Sunday, September 24.  Thank you.


Alexander Osterwalder shares the story about his mentoring his two children as they start a new business creating a graphic comic book for children.


Here’s the slide sharing his belief about “Success” and “Failure”.




Today’s Class: September 15, 2017

Today’s Life Skills class introduced the protocol for future classes

as well as listening to the experiences of 5 Hope High School seniors who were part of the Hope Life Skills class during their Junior year at Hope.

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Mr Cronin introduces today’s guests as well as explaining the Life Skills class protocol for welcoming guests to the class.

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As students learned today, we rise in an expression of respect each time a guest enters our classroom to be followed by each student welcoming our guest with a firm handshake, eye contact, a smile and a personal greeting like ‘Hi, my name is Raul’ and  ‘thanks for coming to our class’ or ‘welcome to Hope!

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(left to right) Aimon Foreman, Imani Turner, Mohamadou Mbaye and Sara Jackson share their stories in Hope Life Skills.

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Yael Torres shares the story of his paid summer internship at CVS Health in supply chain management.

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Sara spoke about her experience as a paid intern in a Providence bookstore. Here Sara introduces several children’s books to a customer interested in finding a book for his young daughter.

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Imani, in the center of this photo in the green dress, spoke about her experience representing the Hope Life Skills class at the National Youth Leadership Forum on CSI and Law in Washington, D.C. this summer. Over 400 high school students from all over the world joined Imani for conversations and mock investigations and trials using the latest forensic experiences in this week long conversation.

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Aimon spoke about her paid summer internship at the corporate offices of CVS Health, a 180 billion dollar company located in Woonsocket, RI. Hope Life Skills students compete in an interview process for internships in computer programming, pharmacy, store management, supply chain management and graphic design during the summer following their Junior year Life Skills class.

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Yael Torres spoke about his internship in supply chain management highlighted by his meeting with CVS Health CEO, Larry Merlo, in Mr Merlo’s executive office.

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Photo of Aimon and Yael as well as two other Hope Life Skills students, Fernando Perez (brown suit) and Jose Orellana (blue suit) who were part of the Life Skills internship program and continue to work summers at CVS.  This photo was taken in in the CVS Health cafeteria. Fernando’s internship was in computer programming while Jose’s internship was in pharmacy. Sitting across the table from the Hope team is Matt Lague, their mentor at CVS.










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.

Homework and Opening Day Notes – September 8th, 2017

The first day of Hope Life Skills 2017 was about introductions;

class goals, Hope student expectations of Mr Cronin and his class, Mr Cronin’s expectations of the students and stories about his wife’s cooking and his 3 children’s quest for success.   Mr Cronin identified the following Hope Life Skills objectives:

  1.  build student confidence and self esteem;
  2.  introduce and develop Skills for life time success:
    • personal brand development
    • networking
    • written, verbal and body language communication
    • collaboration
    • creativity

Mr Cronin also instructed students to

check out the homework assignment at the end of this blog.

Finally, Mr Cronin extended

invitations to BIF 2017 at the Trinity Theatre in Providence

this Wednesday (September 13) and Thursday (September 14) starting each day at 7:30am with breakfast and lunch provided and dismissal around 4:30pm.  First 2o Hope Life Skills students who request attendance at BIF 2017 will be accepted.  Students are asked to pick one of the days (Wednesday or Thursday) to attend.


One of the 12 daily story tellers sharing their personal story of challenges and success to the Trinity Theatre audience at BIF

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Hope Life Skills students ‘networking’ at BIF during lunch

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Hope Life Skills students Fernando Garcia (right) and Gisabel Salcedo (left) with one of the BIF storytellers during lunch.



  1. each student to email Mr Cronin either asking for a ticket to either this Wednesday or Thursday at BIF 2017 at the Trinity Theatre in Providence OR informing Mr Cronin you are unable or not interested in attending BIF 2017. First to email Mr Cronin will be the first students to be given tickets to attend.  Please send your request to attend to Mr Cronin by Sunday, September 10 at 5pm.  On Monday, September 11th before 12pm, Mr Cronin will send an email to students interested in BIF 2017 the day they can attend.  Students should email Mr Cronin – – with any questions.
  2. each student to fill out their business card information on the sheet of paper distributed in class and hand in to Mr Cronin next class (September 15).
  3. Next week’s class will be in Room 112.



Hope Life Skills Summer of 2017

The conversation of Education today often focuses on the lessons learned inside and outside of school, classroom learning vs experiential learning.   The lessons of experiential learning, from experiences like internships and conference and workshop attendance, are proving invaluable to the personal development of students.  Consequently, the Hope Life Skills program

once again offered paid summer internships and sponsorship to the week-long National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

A number of Hope Life Skills students applied and competed for this summer’s internships at companies like Books on the Square in the Wayland Square section of Providence and the CVS Health corporate offices in Woonsocket as well as attendance at the National Youth Leadership Forum on CSI and Law in Washington D.C.  Hope students interviewed with representatives from both companies last May.   Sara Jackson, Aimon Foreman and Yael Torres were chosen and, now, these internships are almost finished. Imani Turner was chosen to represent Hope Life Skills at the Leadership Forum in Washington.   For each student, lessons learned have proven profound.

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From left to right: Bobbie- Joe Gemma (Director of Omni Channel Fulfillment at CVS), Matt Lague (CVS Intern Coordinator and Omni Channel Fulfillment), Jose Orellana (Hope Life Skills graduate 2016 and presently a student at the Community College of Rhode Island), Yael Torres, Aimon Foreman, Fernando Perez (Hope Life Skills graduate 2015 and presently a computer engineering student at the University of Rhode Island) , Mike Martel (Senior Director, Pharmacy Inventory Management)

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Intern Sara Jackson (left) with Robin Gross, the Children’s Book buyer at Books on the Square

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Imani Turner, first row left center in the green dress, with part of her new network from the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.  Imani’s network became more diverse as her new contacts came from the states of California, Maryland, Iowa, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the country of Greece.  Wow!!!!!  Imani has become a networking expert.


first goal of each summer internship and Leadership Forum attendance starts with increased self-confidence.

By feeling better about ourselves, all of us are more comfortable

extending ourselves out of our comfort zone,

Today’ Homework: May 26th, 2017

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Manny Rivas during today’s Life Skills class

1.  Please be candid and honest with your response to this homework assignment:  please send your perception of the Manny Rivas brand in a well written statement to my email address by Thursday, June 1st before 11:59pm.  Please make sure your candid, honest description of Manny’s brand has good grammar, no spelling mistakes, short, well constructed sentences and good punctuation.   And, finally, tell me if you would hire the Manny Rivas for YOUR company and why.  Thank you.


Today’s Class: May 26th, 2017

Today’s guest was Manny Rivas, Hope High 2016 graduate,

a 2015 Life Skills graduate, and present Providence College business and marketing major in his sophomore year.   Today’s Hope Life Skills host was Laisha Mendez.

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Laisha Mendez introduces Providence College sophomore, Manny Rivas, to the Life Skills class.

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Manny responds to Zidany Fatuda‘s (orange sweatshirt) question

Manny spoke about his freshman year experience at Providence College.  “If I could recommend a few things,

I would encourage your students, Mr Cronin, to be more focused on math, reading and writing while they’re in high school.  

Math class is intense at Providence College.  And, my professors are assigning a few books a week to read!   I’m always writing tooYour Hope Life Skills students really need to be more serious about their math, reading and writing courses while they’re still at Hope High School if they want to be successful in college.

Manny described his college experience, his roommate and how and why he decided upon Providence College.  “I’ve established a schedule I follow every class day;  a time to study, go to class and have fun. I have a diverse network.  My college roommate is white, from Connecticut, from a very rich family.  He’s become one of my best friends!

Providence College is looking for qualified students of color.  Providence College understands the value of a diverse student community

and they’re offering college scholarships to create a diverse Providence College.  I encourage all of you today to push out of your comfort zone to meet new people, regardless of their ethnic group or income level.  

Today’s Homework: May 19th, 2017

1.  Please provide me with constructive feedback on Wednesday’s Future Forum.  Please identify one part of the Forum you believe could be improved upon and provide a suggestion on what could be done to improve this part of the Forum.   Send your well written statement with perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation in succinct, short sentences to my email address no later than Thursday, May 26th, 11:59pm.

2. Please tell me, in a well written statement with perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation in succinct, short sentences what you most liked about the Forum and the reason you like this part of the Forum.  Please send your statement to my email address no later than Thursday, May 26th, 11:59pm.

3.  Please tell me what grade you deserve for this last quarter of the year based on the grade criteria listed below.  Please send your grade to my email address no later than Thursday, May 26th, 11:59pm.

Grade Criteria

Please use the criteria listed below to determine your FINAL grade in this class:

A:  Perfect attendance and always on time.  For those days and times you were absent or late, you ALWAYS text or emailed Mr Cronin to inform him of your tardiness or absence beforehand.   You have completed every homework assignment.   AND, you have been a class host for at least one class or have asked at least a question of most class guests who have visited our class this year.  You try to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  You continually network with guests you meet in class or at our special events and field trips and always try to exchange business cards when possible.


B:   Only been absent one or two classes and late a few times at most.  For those few days and times you were absent or late, you ALWAYS text or emailed Mr Cronin to inform him of your tardiness or absence.  You’ve completed almost every homework assignment and you often ask a question of some of the guests who have visited our class this year. You occasionally push yourself out of your comfort zone.  You sometimes network with guests you meet in class or at our special events and field trips and sometimes try to exchange business cards when possible.


C:  You are often absent or late.  You rarely text or email Mr Cronin when you were going to be late or absent before the class. You have done some of the homework assignments and sometimes you ask a question of a guest.  You rarely push yourself out of your comfort zone.  You  network infrequently with guests you meet in class or at our special events and field trips and rarely exchange business cards.


D:  You rarely do homework assignments.  You are usually absent or late to class.   You’ve never asked a question of any guest who have visited our class.  You never attempt to push your self out of your comfort zone.  You never network with guests you meet in class or at our special events and field trips nor exchange business cards.