nataya 2It seems that Nataya flashes her beautiful smile a million times a day, brightening up everyone around her. She is returning for her second year here at Dover Adult Learning Center. She came from Thailand just over a year ago to live in Dover with her American husband.

About Dover, Nataya says she was so glad when people were nice to her in the grocery store and many other places. People’s friendliness made her adjustment to the US a lot easier. She is also glad that her teen-age daughter, who came to Dover with her, has been happy and successful at Dover High School.

Nataya had only six years of schooling in her small village in Thailand. Her parents wanted her, the fifth of six children, to stay home to help on their farm. At age 14, Nataya talked her parents into letting her go to school to become a beautician. She was working in a salon before she was 16. By age 19, after further beautician training in Bankok, Nataya went to a city near her village and opened her own business. By age 25, she owned the building her business was in.

By most people’s standards, Nataya has been successful. But she says, “I feel sad, the degree I do not have.” Her father saw how hard Nataya worked. He told Nataya how proud he was of her. He said that some people finish college and have a bad life. He said that she may not have the school “paper,” but he would give her a “paper” for her life story. Nataya remembers and smiles.

After a summer visit to her homeland, Nataya is glad to be back studying her English at Dover Adult Learning Center. She knows that her teacher Carol Birch will help her with pronunciation and vocabulary. And Nataya will keep sharing her million dollar smile with students and staff, alike.