FUTURE FORUM #4 – a collaboration among a diverse group of caring corporate futurists and exceptional Rhode Island high school students looking to solve a chronic, societal problem while enjoying each other’s company topped off by some great food. From left to right above, Sarah Cunningham (Rocky Hill Country Day), Nehemias Rojas (Hope High School), and Donghoon Ryu (LaSalle Academy) network during the day’s lunch.
Hope High School hosted its 4th annual FUTURE FORUM on Thursday, December 12th, 2019.
FUTURE FORUM 4’s topic of conversation was ‘public education’, specifically, Providence, Rhode Island, public education.
25 corporate ‘futurists’ from companies and institutions like DataRobot, Bank of America, Working Planet, Gilbane Construction Company, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Revival Brewery, Barclays Investment Bank, Alex & Ani, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Brown University and CVS Health joined students from Hope High School’s Life Skills program as well as students from Rocky Hill Country Day, LaSalle Academy, St Raphael’s Academy, and Juanita Sanchz High School at this year’s event. Corporate futurists facilitated collaborations among small, diverse groups of students from the participating schools to create specific, near term improvements to the quality of education in the city’s public schools.
Arnell Milhouse, Inventor, CEO of Career Devs University, and Entrepreneur in Residence at Brown University’s Nelson Center and featured in the photo above on a hover board, was FUTURE FORUM #4’s keynote speaker
The FORUM’s keynote speaker was Arnell Milhouse,
Inventor, Co-Founder and CEO of Computer Science CareerDevs University, and Entrepreneur in Residence at Brown University’s Nelson Center. Mr Millhouse began the FORUM leading a design thinking presentation that students used in their FORUM workshops to identify ways to address the critical needs of Providence students in the urban schools.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza opened the FORUM
sharing his inspirational personal story of challenges and success.
Mayor Jorge Elorza gave an opening address to start FUTURE FORUM #4
“Providence Public Education has been an issue of concern in Rhode Island for decades” states Steve Cronin, the Hope Life Skills and FUTURE FORUM coordinator. “The FORUM provided an interesting dynamic for Providence Public School students to collaborate with private school students, facilitated by successful professionals from a variety of industries, and create potential, measurable, near term improvements in their public education in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s an opportunity for Providence’s public school customers, the students, and people in their personal networks, to create solutions to improve their public education. It was very interesting to hear what the customers, the students, had to say.”
John Sinnott, a Vice President Gilbane Building Company, and noted graphic designer, Nick DeCesare, (Signature Printing Creative Director and Owner of Third Effect Marketing and Design) facilitate a collaboration among students from LaSalle Academy, Hope High, St Raphael Academy, and Juanita Sanchez High School to identify improvements to Hope High School education which could be implemented on January 1st, 2020
Owen Johnson (blue shirt), MIT computer science graduate and Chairman and CEO of Revival Brewery joins James Valles, Brown University Physicist (to Owen’s left) engaging his team of LaSalle, Rocky Hill, and Hope students in the workshop portion of the FORUM. Other Forum workshop teams begin their collaborations in the background.
Beecher Fritzmeier, Alex and Ani Vice President, elicits a number of exciting ideas from her students addressing this year’s FORUM challenge, i.e. improving Providence public school education.
Terri Monjar, Senior Relationship Manager Bank of America Merrill Lynch, encourages her team to express any idea that comes to mind which could improve Providence Public School education.
Hope High School’s Lydia Watkins (center) and Stephanie Sequeira as well as Chris Sanacore (Director of Innovation Providence Public Schools) are excited about the creative ideas percolating among the members of their team.
The FUTURE FORUM is annual event that is part of Hope High School’s ‘Hope Life Skills’ program (www.hopelifeskills.com). Cronin, a community volunteer, started Hope Life Skills 16 year ago at Hope High. The program introduces Hope Juniors and Seniors to a number of skills and behaviors for lifetime success. “Personal brand development, networking, time management, critical thinking, collaboration, data collection, segmentation, and analysis, empathy, verbal and written communication skills, resume writing and job interviewing skills are all introduced during the Hope Life Skills program. Multiple events during the school year, like the FUTURE FORUM, are opportunities for the students to practice these skills” said Cronin. Cronin added all of his students have business cards and LinkedIn sites.
Meg Stowe (foreground), Director of Innovation at Rocky Hill Country Day School, collaborates with her team on changes for Providence Public Schools which could be deployed in early January of 2020 while Tyronne Ross (standing in the background) challenges his team on a financial literacy program which could draw a significant interest from the student body while preparing students for a post-high school success.
LaSalle Academy’s E.C. O’Hair shares her idea while Claudia Cardozo, President of Cardozo Coaching, and Hope High senior, David Narvaez, listen intently.
Hope High School’s Ambar Tavarez (far right) shares her idea with Hope High’s Arthur Bonga (immediately to Ambar’s right), Dr Dioscaris Garcia (Senior Research Scientist, Co-Director, The Diane N. Weiss Center for Orthopedic Trauma Research as well as other endeavors), Abby Tillinghast (Rocky Hill Country Day), and the other members of their team.
(from lower right in photo to left around the table) Kevin Torres (Hope), Jackson Lifrak (LaSalle), Katelyn Tavares (Hope), Sara Wong (LaSalle), Jarlene Carona (Hope), Soren Ryherd (President and Co-founder of Working Planet), Natalie Hogan (Chief Administrative Officer DataRobot), and Narine Lemme (Business Transformation Leader Harvard Pilgrim Health) ponder Sarah’s interesting idea for change.
Cronin began the FUTURE FORUM in 2016. “I initially started the FORUM because of the significant impact technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI), was and continues to have on the very dynamic local and global marketplace which the Hope students would soon be competing in for career opportunities. Since the Life Skills program has always been a community effort, friends and associates from area companies were quick to respond to a ‘future forum’ concept. All realized the FUTURE FORUM would be the perfect venue, not only to inform students about AI and other 21st century technologies, but also for developing the basic life skills introduced in the Hope Life Skills program.”
Nehemias Rojas (Hope) shares his “pre-club” idea with Owen Johnson, James Valles, and the rest of his team.
Hope High School’s Faith Souza (bottom left in photo) shares her idea with her team as Don Mays (Director AFRI Productions) records Faith’s suggestion.
Hope High’s Hector Guererro passionately shares his idea for change at Hope High School while Rocky Hill Country Day’s Sarah Cunningham listens intently to Hector’s idea.
Mariely Brito Leonardo (Hope High) shares her perspective that could hopefully transition into a potential option for improvement and change in Providence Public Schools while Christine Flanagan (President and Founder of Kinetic Seeds, far left in photo) and students weigh the impact of Mariely’s suggestion.
Cronin added that including private school students with diverse interests and backgrounds at the FUTURE FORUM reinforced diversity’s value in a personal network. “Network diversity educates, expand horizons, and builds empathy. Diverse networks create opportunities for personal development”.
Hope High School’s Arthur Bonga (right in photo) offers his perspective on Providence public school education as Rocky Hill’s BJ Jenkins and Sarah Tillinghast as well as others in their group consider the ramifications.
Hope High’s Juan Severino adds his opinion to the collaboration while Rocky Hill’s Marlon Monterroso reflects on Juan’s thought.
Upon the completion of the workshop sessions, groups transitioned to enter their ideas into a FORUM WORKSHOP template. Brown University Physics Professor James Valles facilitates his team entries by holding the students’ prioritized suggestions.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Terri Monjar (far right) leads her team as Hope High’s Carla Pepin enters their findings into the FORUM template.
LaSalle Academy’s Marc Isabella (seated in gray sweatshirt) enter his team’s recommendations, held above by Josiah Diaz (Hope), into the computer while Penelope Simpson (LaSalle) and Sinead Burnett (Rocky Hill) look on.
From right to left, David Narvaez (Hope), EC O’Hair (LaSalle), and Abby Tillinghast (Rocky Hill) present their team’s recommendations to the FORUM audience following the team collaborations.
Millhouse announced to the FORUM attendees that a team of Brown University graduate students affiliated with Brown University’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship would be collecting and analyzing the data from the workshop groups then sharing the student recommendations with all FORUM attendees, Mayor Elorza, the superintendent of Providence Schools, and the press.
90 people attended this year’s FORUM within the friendly confines of the Hope High School library.
MORE FROM THE FORUM –