Alberto Rossi was always a big dreamer, with a big heart to match. While his dreams of becoming an airplane pilot weren’t in reach as someone with a visual impairment, Alberto never met a challenge he didn’t face head-on. He went on the travel the world just like he always wanted, empowering adults and students along the way. He tells us all about his challenging start in life, his tales of travel, and how he ended up empowering students to be proactive in online privacy protection in this episode.
The Universe Wants Me To Keep Going
Alberto was born prematurely (at only 6 months gestation) but he told us that, “the universe wanted me to keep going.” Born to a mother from the Canary Islands and a father from Venice, travel was already in his blood as a tiny, fragile baby with an uncertain path. Alberto told us that he had the best parents in the world- and he can prove it. They treated him as a typical child and gave him the unique gift of not holding his visual impairment as a ceiling, while simultaneously allowing him to discover my limitations. It was this teaching that laid the groundwork for how Alberto sees the world with such optimism. “ We’re all human beings,” he said, “we’re all very fragile. You never know what’s coming the next second, that’s why you have to enjoy life.”
ONCE and Again
And enjoy it, he does. Alberto has a whip-smart memory and a capacity for retention. He excelled in school and once he finished University, received a scholarship for his MBA through an organization in Spain called, “Once” which serves Spain’s blind population (entirely funded via the kindness of Spanish society). After his graduation from the program, Alberto stayed for five more years as an employee. This position finally gave him the wings he always wanted- he would catch, on average, 150 flights a year to travel for his position.
Where in the World Is Alberto Now?
Not everyone has the means or the opportunities to travel as Alberto has- but students have an incredible resource on the internet to travel anywhere they’d like. Alberto recognized that this could be a good- and sometimes, not-so-good thing. That’s why he decided to invest his skills and talents most recently into a project called, IMT Lazarus; a platform that provides a 24 hour, digital fence of protection around student privacy and data that is overseen by their teachers during the day and then taken over by their guardians. He told us, “When it comes to education, we have a tremendous amount of responsibility.” We can’t regress from the technological advancements inspired large in part by the pandemic, but we CAN be smarter about protecting our students and empowering them to assert agency over their own privacy and protection of data.
If you have ever caught the travel bug, love inspirational stories, or want to know more about digital citizenship and how to protect students’ privacy and data- there is something for everyone in this episode.