My name is Mary Hiroyama and I am the founder of Mary school.
I am originally from Brazil but I am of Japanese origin. Portuguese is my native language, I learned both English and Japanese by attending night school. I came to japan in 1987, after graduating from ABC medical school in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I came to Japan to research gastric cancer. I was awarded a scholarship from the Japanese government to undertake my Ph.D. After that I undertook endoscopy training for 2 years, and after that I worked as a researcher in Tsukuba, Ibaraki prefecture and Morioka, Iwate prefecture.
It was in Morioka that I met my husband. he was an emergency doctor at the time, and he enjoyed being in the medical field. However, we eventually had three children and I could not see myself being a medical researcher while simultaneously raising three children.
This is when my mind changed, I realized I could use my Japanese background and my experience as both a mother and a medical practitioner to teach the kids. I also felt like I had a mission, being from Brazil(a place where everyone is very bubbly and outgoing.) to teaching the kids of Japan how to converse and interact with the outside world through language. I fell in love.
When I first started Mary school 15 years ago, I only had one student now we have excess of 250 students. Although the size of Mary school has changed over the years, our values of community and family have not.