Today’s Class: May 20, 2016

Marta Aparicio was today’s guest.  Marta is a Hope High School Life Skills graduate and the class valedictorian of Hope High’s graduating class of 2010, a Georgetown University double major graduate (Political Science and Sociology) in 2014, presently a Director of Retail Operations at the Follet Corporation and an Adjunct Professor Miami Dade Community College, Miami, Florida.   Our Life Skills class host today welcoming Marta back to the Hope Life Skills class was Valentina Gomez-Rincon.


Valentina Gomez-Rincon (left) welcomes Marta Aparicio to Hope Life Skills and prepares Marta’s introduction to the rest of the Life Skills class.


Valentina introduces Marta to the Hope Life Skills class today. Well done, as usual, by Valentina.


Marta begins to share her inspirational and empowering story with today’s Life Skills students.

Marta began her story today from her birth in Guatemala to meeting her parents for the first time in the United States at 12 years old.  “It didn’t work out as I had hoped.  By the time I was in Mr Cronin’s Life Skills class,

I was living on my own at 16 years old,

working 30 hours a week at a couple of jobs to pay for rent and my health insurance as well as studying to do well academically at Hope.”

Marta explained the

“Life Skills program pushed me out of my comfort zone, taught me about my brand and the opportunities created by a great network

of successful people with good values.”

Marta also spoke about the power of a diverse network.  “The experience I initially found myself in at Georgetown (University) was not what I expected.  I questioned whether I belongedThere weren’t a lot of people who looked like me, who came from a similar inner city, public school background.  Most of my classmates were rich and went to private schools.  And, I wasn’t prepared to meet the expectations of my professors, especially when it came to reading and writing.   So I pushed myself to do things I wasn’t used to. 

I asked 

for help, from professors and tutors and the Georgetown multi-cultural center.  I pushed myself to join different organizations, apply for internships and network with students who weren’t like me.  I even applied to study abroad.  My network changed; it became diverse with white, brown and black people, from different backgrounds, different parts of America and different interests.  And,

it worked!    My grades improved.  I was awarded an internship

in the US Congressional office of David Cicilline and studied abroad in Spain during my junior year.   I felt good about myself.  I ended my experience at Georgetown with a double major in Political Science and Sociology, a minor in Spanish with a 3.4 GPA and a network of wonderfully successful, nice people.   All because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to ask.”

Marta then suggested a few things the Life Skills students should do for a smoother transition in college.

“Read and write more!  I wasn’t prepared

to do the amount of reading and writing my Georgetown professors were asking of me.   100 pages to read from one professor and another 100 pages from another  and another.  All to be done by the next class, in two days!   Please, read and write more if you want to be successful in college.”  

Marta ended her inspirational story by encouraging the Life Skills students to network with her.


Travis Barbour exchanges business cards with Marta.


Juan Corona shakes hands with Marta during the networking session as Ayobami Bankole (behind Juan) and Valentina look on.





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