After opening two salons in Brazil and balancing 40 years of career and family, once her adult children were living on their own, Maria was free to do whatever she wanted. She wanted to start over in the United States. Before she could re-start her career, she had to be re-certified in the U.S. As soon as she obtained her Massachusetts massage license, she opened a day spa called Nova Estetica.

Of all the hurdles she’s faced, Maria says the biggest is not knowing English. That’s why she came to The Immigrant Learning Center for help. According to Maria, “If I get an American customer, it is too hard to try to communicate. I have an assistant that speaks better English, and she supports me. Maybe next year I won’t need support.”