Meet our summer intern Fiorenza Ceniccola - an Italian native, Fiorenza is passionate about human rights, politics, and women's empowerment.
Tell us about La Casa Di Bacco.
La Casa di Bacco is a Society (Ltd) that I co-founded in 2014 with my two partners. The company is located in a small village in the South of Italy, Guardia Sanframondi. The mission-oriented goal of this entrepreneurship project is to spread the wine culture among young people and replace it to the misery routine of heavy drinking and taking drugs. The project idea came from my great desire to contribute to make a positive change in society around. I wanted to find something that it would empower new generation, which will bring people together and at the same time a project which enhances the territory where I am from.
My village has the biggest wine production, for this reason I thought to do something related to it. The idea beyond was to bring talented individuals into the fold and create a community founded on the basis of cross-collaboration and mutual support. Indeed, La Casa di Bacco is an art gallery which host annual exhibition on the theme of wine and a recreational venue for cultural events and Meetups.
What causes are you the most passionate about, and how are you involved in their activism?
One of the causes I am really passionate about is to empower students and young people voices. Since I was in my High School I tried to channel their voices through my work as High School representative. As Student Ambassador of my University I have the great responsibility within the University to provide general monitoring and guidance for current and prospects students and ensure that students will have the best university life experience. My passion to help people and find out creative and diplomatic ways to solve problems motivate me to undertake the study of Law with International Relations.
I have a great interest in Human Rights and Political Issues. As UN activist I took part in many volunteering programmes. One volunteering programme aimed to promote an equal life chances for refugees and empower them to become successful entrepreneurs. I personally contributed by offering Italian and English lessons to refugees and by sharing the marketing strategies and skills developed throughout my entrepreneur experience.
My strongest passion is for women empowerment, as a Women activist I am grounded in the vision of equality. I take part in campaigns and UN conferences to learn more and to implement, through the society I am working on, the political strategies necessary to abolish discrimination and the politics of exclusion.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
I am hoping that in 10 years I will start a diplomatic career. Becoming an Italian Ambassador for the UN, or the EU is what makes me wake up every day!
Spirit animal (and why): A turtle. I feel like I walk my path in peace and sticking to it with determination and serenity. I feel like turtles are slow moving on earth, yet incredibly fast and agile in water. (Don’t get deceived by turtles!😆) I love taking breaks in my busy life and look around for more grounded, long-lasting solutions.
Your Favorite Song: I don’t have a permanent one for that! I have to be honest 😁 for now - Macklemore's "GLORIOUS".
Favorite Place to Travel To: London and Mykonos
Meet our summer intern Ethan Duff - a self proclaimed "Renaissance Man", he is excited about European trade and business.
You like to call yourself a 'renaissance man'. How does this influence your hobbies and interests?
I think that being a Renaissance Man isn't so much about mastering everything as much as it is being curious and learning about as many things as possible. These values drive me take on numerous hobbies a few of which include as writing a song, working on a business idea and compiling research on what it means to be a "Renaissance Man" so that I can acquire the qualities needed to truly become one myself. I firmly believe that the concept of a 'Renaissance Man' is vital to a successful life but even more so to a fulfilled one. I hope to one day write a book on the process I am currently undergoing to help people better understand how to break down the concept of a Renaissance Man and strive for becoming one as well.
Tell us about the work you're doing for Next Gen this summer.
This summer I have the honor of being a part of numerous key projects. Currently I am working on choosing the venue for NGS 2019! I'll also be involved with projects including creating a directory for Next Gen Community Members, working alongside Michael Hsun with business development and relationship management, and many more fun projects alongside the rest of NGS Team.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
In 10 years from now I hope to still be a member of the NGS community. Primarily, I aspire to be an entrepreneur of a company that works with international trade and investment that makes a real impact on a variety of countries. I'm particularly fascinated with European trade and business; hence my major in International Business with a European focus. If I'm lucky enough I'd also love to one day be a speaker at NGS and share all that I have learned.
Words you live by: Live Curiously
Fave movie: Forest Gump
Spirit animal (and why): Narwhal. Who doesn’t want to swim around with a horn on your head?
Meet our summer intern Ben Heller - a baseball player who believes in the power of taking initiative in the here and now.
If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time and give my younger self advice, it would be to stop waiting for things to come to me, but rather to take initiatives in my own hand and take risks. Better to take risks than wait and look back and say "what if...".
What company story has inspired your entrepreneurial career?
The story of how Pixar Animation Studios began, because this was a company that took almost 20 years before finding true success and a real corporate partner in Disney. It was the faith that the leaders of this company (Steve Jobs, Jon Lasseter, and Edwin Catmull) had in one another that kept things going even when the company seemed hopeless. The technology that they originally tried to sell was almost too brilliant and ahead of its time that it did not sell well originally. Shifting gears and sticking with one another as a team led to the production of Toy Story, one of my favorite movies of all time and future success as the pioneers of full length computer animated films.
What accomplishment are you most proud of to date?
One accomplishment I am very proud of to date is winning the Coach's Award on High School Varsity Baseball Team. After a thrilling run to the finals of the playoffs my junior year, I was ready to be a big part of our team's success my senior year of high school. Unfortunately, life does not always go the way you want it to, and after looking strong coming into the season I played very poorly while losing a huge amount of playing time. Not only that, but our team was struggling greatly as we just kept losing games. We were all very frustrated, but I even as a senior who was not playing very much, day in and day out I put in all the effort I could because I was just grateful to have baseball in my life still. Even though games did not go our way as the season progressed, we were playing better baseball and our last game was the best one of the season despite losing to the best team 3-1. I learned a great deal about teamwork and community from my time on the baseball team. I created friendships that will last a life time and I learned about how to be a leader. Receiving the Coach's Award made me proud of the person I became from the team, and made me understand that the values and lessons I learned from the season will carry me much farther in life than the fact that I might not have played the best baseball I could have.
Go-To Strutting Down the Street, Confidence Boost Power Song: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
Apple or PC: Apple
Best trip you ever took: Costa Rica. Amazing combination of adventure and relaxation. From the volcanoes and zip lines to the pools and beaches.