Fueled by her passion for language, Rebecca Sibaja has served as the owner of the Borealis Language Academy for more than six years. As the daughter of two immigrants from Costa Rica, Ms. Sibaja’s desire to help those who need to learn English as a second language is a cause close to her heart. Her school, the Borealis Language Academy, focuses on teaching English as a second language to adults, and helps with translation from Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. The school’s small class size and private tutoring services contribute to its success. There are currently three locations for the academy; two are in Charlotte, N.C., and the other is in Monroe, N.C. Ms. Sibaja is proud to say she can teach a non-English speaker how to speak English in 40 hours.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Sibaja taught English as a second language in Costa Rica at the International University of the Americas, and acted as the vice-consul of Costa Rica in New York from 1998 to 2004. The biggest challenge she faced throughout her career was balancing being a single mother with her professional life. Ms. Sibaja is inspired to overcome those challenges by the changes she sees in her students and their gratitude for her help. She would remind others that life isn’t about money; it’s about loving what you do. In the future, Ms. Sibaja hopes to continue with her work to get accreditation for her academy, and create new community and financial relationships.
To prepare for her thriving career, Ms. Sibaja earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in translation from the University of Costa Rica. She is charitably involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Socrates Academy. Additionally, Ms. Sibaja has recently leveraged her entrepreneurial skills to spearhead a visionary volunteer program in conjunction with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. The program will ensure that language deficiencies will not hinder the aspirations of Charlotte’s young Hispanic community.