By Mirta Michilli, Director General of “ Fondazione Mondo Digitale ” (FMD)
Lorenzo Dente is 20 years old, he lives with his parents in Scampia, a suburb on the northern outskirts of Naples, one of the most problematic areas of southern Italy due to high unemployment, school dropout and crime. Lorenzo is one of the 6,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 involved in the Meet no Neet training program, part of the YouthSpark global initiative, which has rewarded the best entrepreneurship and social innovation projects developed by young people. Together with his classmates, Lorenzo created the project “Let’s clean up and innovate” and launched a crowdfunding campaign on the platform Phyrtual.org with the slogan “My future? #itsuptome”.
Lorenzo sees himself as “a normal boy from Scampia.” He attended lower secondary school at Virgilio IV which stands just across the “Vela Rossa” (one of the symbols of this tough area) and high school at Itis Galileo Ferraris specializing in Computer Science, as he is “passionate about computers and coding.”
Lorenzo graduated this year from high school. He left the examination board speechless when he started his thesis discussion with the Microsoft MTA Certification (Networking / Database) that he obtained thanks to the Vouchers Campaign, sponsored by Microsoft and Telecentre Europe, with Fondazione Mondo Digitale and Tesi Automazione. So he was given the highest marks and even a five-point bonus. Lorenzo is not going to leave Naples, to seek his fortune in Germany, as his brother did, he has instead enrolled at the Faculty of Computer Engineering. “Before meeting the people working in Microsoft I could only see a world that did not listen and where there was no room for young people. Now I see that there are companies which are ready to listen.”