Our Life Skills guest today was
Carolina Correa, the Major Gifts Officer and Young Leaders Circle Manager at the United Way
of Rhode Island. Our Life Skills
host today was Ingris Izaguirre Maradiaga.
Carolina began her story from her youth in Medallin, Columbia to her emigration to Pawtucket, Rhode Island at the age of 13 to escape the escalating violence in her city after her father’s tragic death. “I faced challenging changes in my life. Not speaking English. Trying to fit into a new neighborhood and schools. Snow!
I essentially told myself I had to change. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.
I met new people. I joined a swim team at the Boys and Girls Club. I carried a dictionary with me to learn new words. I asked lots of questions. And, with my courageous Mom’s encouragement, I worked very hard in school to get good grades.“
Carolina spoke about being chosen as the National Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year. “The introductions you make each class of your guests prepares you for the presentations and leadership responsibilities you will all have in your lives. In college. At your jobs. In the companies you run or own.
The ability to speak in front of groups gives you a great advantage over others.
This ability also builds your self confidence. It’s scary in the beginning. But you can do it. Please take it from my experience; the more you do it, the better you become.”
Carolina spoke about how hard she worked in school. She participated in extracurricular activities. She studied long hours into the early morning hours to get good grades and made no excuses. And, it eventually paid off with a great scholarship to a great school, Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Carolina then offered this advice to the Hope Life Skills students. “I encourage you all to
look at yourself as a company. Ask yourself – am I doing the right things, the best things, to make my company and its brand great?
Am I constantly networking with good, smart, successful people? Is my network diverse? Is it filled with people who have good values? Am I constantly learning new things to make me a better, smarter person? Am I unafraid to ask the questions I want to ask? Am I working as hard as I can?
The class ended with the Life Skills class networking time to ask individual questions and hopefully exchange business cards to continue the conversation with Carolina at a later time.