The story of Gabriela

Gabriela, a single mother who is going back to school thanks to the financial help of the Lise Watier Foundation.


A single mother who is going back to school with the financial aid of the Lise Watier Foundation. 

Gabriela is a single mother of three boys, but more importantly, she is a resilient woman determined to make a living from her passion. Living in Mexico, her native country, she chose to work as an administrative assistant for her husband’s company. Life being what it is, sometimes difficult and uncompromising, the relationship between Gabriela and her husband unfortunately fell apart. Alone and helpless, with three children on her hands, she had only one question on her mind: “What am I going to do to provide for my children? That’s when she decided to move to Quebec. When she arrived, she didn’t know anyone, didn’t speak a word of French and didn’t know where to turn. The Let’s Start Up program was a turning point for her! 

The Let’s Start Up program, an opportunity to realize her biggest dream  

Through the Let’s Start Up program, Gabriela got to know herself better. The psychometric tests made her realize that her strengths and interests led her to physiotherapy. Without the guidance and support of the Let’s Start Up advisor, she would never have the courage to go back to school at her age. After being accepted into the physiotherapy technology at Dawson College, she applied for financial aid from the Lise Watier Foundation. Much to her surprise, her application was accepted!  

When I read the letter from the Foundation, I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the Foundation was going to support me financially not only for the first year, but for the entire duration of my study program! I immediately called my children, who jumped for joy around me. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. Thanks to the Foundation’s financial aid, the financial stress has been relieved and I can now give my children a better life and focus on my studies. Thank you to the Foundation for believing in me,” she says.  

Today, Gabriela is pursuing her second year of studies. The Let’s Start Up program was an opportunity for her to make a career change and realize her dream of having her own Pilates and massage therapy school. Her journey is proof that the road to professional fulfillment is not linear. Plus, there is no age to go back to school. Sometimes, all it takes is a little help or a person who believes in us to give us the necessary impetus to follow our dreams to the end…  


Graduate of the Let’s Start Up Program

The Lise Watier Foundation offers the Let’s Start Up program in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, the Laurentians and Montérégie. More than 200 women a year are committed to taking action through the Let’s Start Up program. They graduate with a better understanding of their strengths and skills, as well as the knowledge and tools to implement their professional project. Women thus begin a new journey towards financial independence through entrepreneurship, a return to school or a more fulfilling job.

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