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,

to ask questions we want to ask,


with successful people we encounter or volunteer for a special project.  Second goal is to refine existing skills and to learn new ones.  And, finally, expand horizons of jobs and careers to consider upon graduation.

Special thanks to all Hope Life Skills sponsors who made the internship opportunities and Leadership Forum attendance possible.  And, of course,

thank you

to the scores of business professionals who take time out of their busy day to visit our class throughout the school year to share their stories of overcoming life’s challenges while pursuing eventual success.

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When a customer entered the store looking for a book for his daughter, Sara welcomed the customer, brought him to one of the children’s bookshelves, and began to show him samples to consider to give to us daughter.

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Speaking about going out of your comfort zone, Yael became someone everyone seemed to know at the corporate office when he approached the CEO of CVS Health, Larry Merlo,  after a quarterly employee meeting.  After Mr Merlo presented company quarterly business results, Yael approached Mr Merlo to introduce himself and asked if he could meet with him.  CEO Larry Merlo said “yes”!   Yael and Mr Merlo exchanged business cards and Yael had his meeting in Mr Merlo’s executive office on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Now this is networking at its best!!!


Aimon Foreman address an audience of CVS Health staff members and present and former Hope Life Skills interns to share her summer intern experience

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lunch in the CVS Health Corporate cafeteria for (left to right) Fernando Perez, Aimon Turner, Yael Torres, Jose Orelllana and CVS Health Internship Coordinator and mentor, Matthew Lague.

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Imani Turner (center) with new friends from all over the United States who were part of a mock trial on CSI and Law at the Leadership Forum.  Note the US Capitol building in the background.

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Sara setting up a display for a special children’s book promotion at the store.

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Sara’s ultimate display creation collaborating with Robin

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Yael presenting to the CVS Health staff his project during his internship.

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Aimon’s presentation on her summer internship experience.










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