In 1999 Maria completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Unicerp in Patrocinio, Brazil. During college and after graduation she worked as a teacher and supervisor in the early childhood education field. When given the opportunity to come to the United States to further pursue her profession she left her home and came to a country where she did not speak the language. When she arrived she was told that she would not be able to continue her professional work. She had to pick up jobs that were below her qualifications to make ends meet until she would be able to regain her degree in the states. She later achieved her associates degree to help in securing a job that would provide economic security for her family in the coming years. Her dream is to work in the healthcare field and become a medical information management assistant.