Milton teen receives recognition from Italian Prime Minister


Milton teenager, Zainab Azim received a special shoutout from the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the 83rd edition of Campionaria Generale Internazionale in Bari, Italy.

The 17-year-old Canadian was invited to be a speaker and panelist at this highly anticipated event that also included members of the Italian parliament, regional and local politicians as well as prominent business leaders. Both Prime Minister Conte and the President of the Nuova Fiera del Levante, Alessandro Ambrosi, personally praised Zainab for her inspiring space initiatives and encouraged her enterprising social venture, G.I.V.E - Global Initiative and Vision for Education.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister recognized Zainab and her family as “great ambassadors”.

Her commitment to strengthening the bond between the nations was evident through her enthusiastic participation in this as well as other significant international events. Zainab discussed the importance of encouraging youth, girls in particular, to pursue their passion. “It’s not because women aren’t smart enough, it’s the cultural norms we’ve created and the educational system that encourages conformity,” Zainab said. “It’s not about intelligence, it’s about believing you can.”

Zainab is the world’s youngest future astronaut to fly with Virgin Galactic which will allow her to fulfill her dreams of exploring space in the near future.

In consideration of the 50th anniversary of the first person on the moon, she remains focused on inspiring other girls to get an education and dream big.

Zainab’s passion for astronomy started when she was just 6 years old as she began learning about the solar system. In addition to her natural curiosity, Zainab’s parents and teachers helped to foster a love of astrophysics by providing access to quality resources. Zainab says she is inspired by female astronauts and their ground-breaking achievements, such as Roberta Bondar, Sally Ride and Anousheh Ansari (the first female private space explorer), who has personally encouraged the teen in her endeavours.

Zainab was recently invited by the Technological Aerospace Cluster (DTA) to attend two international events in Puglia, Italy. During her inspirational speeches on May 29-30, Zainab also spoke passionately about the importance of investing in the next generation to encourage interest in STEM fields among youth.

In 2015 Zainab was also invited to speak at the inaugural Space Girls Space Women Exhibition in Paris, France.

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