Today’s Class: October 9, 2015

Our first guest of this school year was Dereck Mendoza, a Senior Research Technician at one of the  world’s largest and most successful property insurance companies, FM Global.    Our first class host of this school year was Maria Dasilva who introduced Dereck to her Life Skills classmates with great poise and clarity.


Maria and Dereck prior to class today. Maria welcomed Dereck to Hope and our Life Skills class.  She then asked Dereck about his professional information before introducing him to the class.

FM Global has clients in more than 100 countries.  FM Global employes 4400 employees.

The company was actually started in Rhode Island by Zachariah Allen around 1835.  Dereck explained the company spends a significant amount of time on engineering loss prevention;  in other words,

doing lots of tests, “blowing things up, then collecting and analyzing data from the test to determine ways to help companies avoid accidents and catastrophes“.


Maria introduces Dereck to her Life Skills classmates at the start of today’s class.

Dereck spoke about his initial

brand impressions of the class.  “I was impressed with Maria’s conversational ability.   She made me feel welcome

to Hope and this class.  And, she was very good at asking questions, in a nice way, to get the information she needed for my introduction.  She did a good job; impressive.”  Dereck added in an email to me later in the day “your class is the best group I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with.

Every student I spoke with today was respectful and truly appeared to have a genuine interest and desire to succeed;

some just need one key boost in self-confidence and/or the opportunity to prove themselves to reach their potential.”


Students begin to individually greet Dereck right after Maria’s introduction.

Dereck shared his feelings about his brand in high school.  “I was a multi-sport high school athlete as well as volunteered in different organizations.  These experiences helped me during the college admissions process.   Colleges want students who will be involved in their college community….. 

In college, I was fortunate to have internships. 

When I started applying for jobs after college graduation, the internships looked good on my resume and helped me get the job opportunities I was pursuing.

I’m impressed with the internships your Life Skills students are getting in high school with CVS. 

For Manny (Rivas) and Fernando (Perez) to get paid internships in computer programming and supply chain management in high school, this will look great on their college application.  I wish I had internships like this when I was in high school.”


Dereck begins to share his personal story with the Life Skills class

If I could change anything from my high school experience, I would try harder to get out of my comfort zoneGetting out of your comfort zone builds confidence. 

And, the more confidence you have, the more opportunities you’ll try to give you more lessons to learn and more confidence to gain.

Today’s class ended with our regularly scheduled networking session with the day’s guest.  Students took the opportunity to exchange business cards with Dereck to continue the conversation at a later date.


Dereck speaks with Cristian Quennes during the networking session at the end of the Life Skills class.  Cristian was sure to get Dereck’s business card.

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