Hope Life Skills ‘Networking Night’ at McCoy Stadium: June 22, 2015

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Life Skills alum and current University of Rhode Island sophomore, Jerry Bonne Annee (left), speaks with Scott Jensen, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, inside the suite at McCoy Stadium during a Pawtucket Red Sox game as other students and business people check out the action from the field level seats adjoining the suite.

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Networking and brand building taking place within the suite with food and beverages served while the Pawtucket Red Sox game unfolds outside on the field.

This Life Skills field trip has become an annual ‘final exam like‘ event where students use the networking and personal brand building skills developed during the school year to meet and speak with successful members from the area’s business community and colleges and universities.    And, now that the grades are in, it’s no surprise Hope High’s Life Skills students passed with distinction.   Area business leaders were universally impressed with the Hope High students.  “Their poise is impressive” one businesswoman remarked.

They present themselves professionally,

more than many people I meet during the course of a business day.  From their eye contact, smile and hand shake during a greeting and their genuine interest during a conversation to a sincere ‘thank you’ then request for my business card, these students get it.  You talk about ‘brands’, these students from Hope High have great brands!

Here are pictures telling the rest of the story from last night’s event at McCoy Stadium.  And, we save the best for last.  One student threw out the first pitch of the baseball game!

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Hope High School’s Gisabel Salcedo (right) speaks with Berklee College of Music senior Dejehan Hamilton about music education at Berklee in Boston. Both Gisabel and Dejehan shared their stories of vocalist performing arts.  Gisabel was chosen to represent Hope High School this summer at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

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Malcolm Kuno (center with orange tie) is the Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer at CVS Health. Malcolm shares his story with Life Skills students (top left to right) Jessica Dough, Isabel Romero, Aileen Rodriguez Jimenez and Delvany Soares.

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Two creative people, Olimpia Sarah I Aldana (left) and Wendy Lewis, CVS Health Copywriter and Performing Artist, speak about the art of makeup preparation for performing artists.

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Jason Roias (left), Life Skills alum and Rhode Island College freshman, speaks with Vince Burks, Senior Assistant Vice President and Communications Director at Amica Mutual Insurance Company. Jason was the 2013-14 President of Hope High School’s senior class. Jason was also chosen to represent Hope High in 2013 at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

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Entrepreneur and musician, Konnor Olton (right), speaks with Life Skills alum, 2014 Georgetown University graduate and current Director at the Follette Corporation in Miami, Florida, Marta Aparicio, (left) and apparel and fashion designer and visual media designer, Liz McLaughlin (center).  Marta was the first Life Skills student to represent Hope High School at the National Youth Leadership Forum in 2009.  Marta received a full scholarship to Georgetown and regularly travels back to Providence to meet and mentor Hope High Life Skills students.

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From right to left, Lou Mercado, Vice President of Supply Chain Management at CVS Health; Ashish Bhandari, Inventory Management, Planning and Analytics;  Munish Argawal, Inventory Management – Planner;  Marcey Santos, Lead Accountant, Amica Insurance Company; and Fernando Perez, Life Skills student who will represent Hope High School at the National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. this summer.

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Elsch Maisoh (left), Construction Manager at Gilbane Building Company, speaks with Jerry Bonne Annee about Gilbane’s internship program in construction management. In the background, Jose Garcia Jr, News Clerk and Writer in the Office of Communications at Brown University, speaks with Vince Burks, Communications Director and Senior Assistant Vice President at Amica Mutual Insurance. Both men had conversations with Life Skills student, Hafzat Akanni, about several career options in the communications field.

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Hafzat Akanni (far right) and Fernando Perez (middle) were identified as the 2015 Life Skills class recipients of a paid summer internship at CVS Health. Fernando stands next to his ‘coding’ mentors, Munish Argawal (Fernando’s immediate left) and Ashish Bhandari (far left).  Fernando’s internship will be working in computer programming and analytics. CVS Health Vice President, Lou Mercado, stands between Fernando and Hafzat.   Hafzat’s focus during her internship will be corporate communications.

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Jason Roias (left) shares his story of success with Raymond Perez (center) and CVS Health’s Senior Director Advertising Production, Carlos Sanchez.  Carlos Sanchez, along with CVS Health’s Randy Martinez, began the networking process with the Life Skills program several years ago and introduced the program to the CVS Health corporate community.

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Carlos Sanchez (center) with the 4 Life Skills students representing Hope High School at the 2015 National Youth Leadership Forum from July 20th to July 25th in Washington, D.C. From left to right: Fernando Perez, Hafzat Akanni, Jessica Dough and Gisabel Salcedo.

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4 eminent leaders of the Hope High School community – (left to right) Principal John Hunt, Guidance Counselor Jimps Jean Louis, Marta Aparicio (class of 2010) and Hafzat Akanni (class of 2016); all enjoying the outstanding baseball cuisine during the June 22, 2015, Life Skills networking event

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Isabel Romero, center, shows the results of great networking with the players on the field. Isabel convinced one of the players who caught a ball for the final out of an inning to give her the ball on his way back to the dugout. Joan Tueros (left of Islabel) looks on in amazement!

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John Basler (facing camera) and TWOBOLT Creative Director, Nick Decesare, speak about their long standing connections to the Life Skills program.   John Basler’s sister, Marcia, lives in Washington, D.C. and has been picking up Life Skills students for several years from Reagan International airport to a prearranged campus visit at Georgetown University before taking them to the National Youth Leadership Forum registration center.  Marta Aparicio was the first Hope Life Skills student to meet Marcia in 2009.  Nick Decesare has visited the Life Skills class every year since 2005 to share his personal story.  Nick’s talented 15 year old daughter, Ali Decesare, has designed the Life Skills class business cards for the last 3 years. Ali also designed the Life Skills web site banner.

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Networking ‘out of the box’ or…. suite. Life Skills students convince one of the baseball players to join each of them in a ‘selfie’ at the conclusion of the game. An example of great brands and great networking skills creating opportunities for life!


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Joan throwing the perfect strike to start the Pawtucket Red Sox game!

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