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After tiring of being a dance instructor for another company, Maria contemplated going back to school, taking time off, or starting a business with her fiancé. Halfway through WEV’s SET course, she decided to start teaching dance again, but this time on her own terms. Dance 4 Wellness gained referrals very quickly, and in just six months, she doubled her annual income from a previous job. Bolstered by a network of friends, family, and staff, Maria continues to give back to her community through dance while increasing her income and improving her lifestyle. In 2010, she joined the Thrive program to keep her business growing. Since starting the business, her annual sales have grown from $30,000 to over $100,000 and she has created five jobs.

Photography courtesy of Maria Carreras Photography.