blossomed during that time,” said Lockhart. “Her world opened up the minute
she had access to a computer.”
the course, Mary was selected by Lockhart to represent the Global Give Back Circle
at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting in New York. At the event, Elias Bou
Saab, executive vice president of the American University in Dubai, awarded Mary
a full scholarship to the university. She chose to major in business and finance.
Around the world, young people face a myriad of social and economic challenges,
including rampant youth unemployment, which is globally double that of the rest
of the population, and up to 50 percent in some countries. Inspired by stories like
Mary’s, Microsoft developed its YouthSpark initiative to address this opportunity
divide. Announced in 2012, Microsoft YouthSpark is focused on creating opportunities
for young people to realize their full potential through programs and partnerships
with governments, nonprofits, and businesses that strengthen education, expand digital
inclusion, and give young people the tools they need to change their world.