Courage has never been lacking for 20-year-old Laura Santos. Born and raised in the district of Parelheiros, in the southern zone of São Paulo, she saw in her parents’ love the right incentive, since childhood, to travel for almost two hours a day to be able to study in a public school. This dedication is reflected to this day, as she seeks a job and, who knows, a degree in the technology field.

Laura started to like the digital world while in high school, during computer classes. As time passed, and with technology on the rise, she discovered Recode in a WhatsApp group. When she learned about Digigirlz, a project in partnership with Microsoft, she had no doubts that it could be a turning point: “I loved the topics covered. Moreover, I saw the opportunity to have more direct contact with other women, getting to know better the life stories of some of them,”she highlights.

Digigirlz brought together women from all over the country to showcase some of the new technologies. In addition to taking the “Technologies for the Future” and “Artificial Intelligence” courses, about 40 participants took part in an Ideathon, where they could create projects that helped society. Laura’s group came in third place: “We thought of an idea to improve the facial recognition system for identifying passengers on public transportation in São Paulo, in order to prevent discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people,” says the young woman.

Laura had great prominence in Digigirlz.

And it didn’t stop there. The project was so successful that the girls were invited to another day of mentoring with Microsoft, mediated by Recode. They heard tips for entering the job market and fundamental issues for personal and professional growth. Laura didn’t waste the opportunity: “I left the event with the feeling of lightness knowing that, in a way, I was already giving myself a chance to discover other worlds and different ways of thinking, being able to stand out for it,” she celebrates.

Although Laura Santos knows she still has many challenges ahead, she now follows more confidently in being able to enter college and get a job. Meanwhile, her determination and willingness to continue exploring the world of technology remain strong.