When the company Renee Starr had been working at for many years was being sold, she was given the opportunity to retire. But, instead of staying home, Starr went back to school and started a new career.
“I had taken a massage class on a whim. I just wanted to see what it would be like and it turned out I really liked it,” she said. “When I found out they were selling to another company, I had the chance to retire, but I wasn’t really ready to just not do anything.”
While Starr, who was in her 50s, believed she was too young to retire, she also believed she might be too old for school.
“I didn’t know how I was going to do with school,” she said. “Once you get out of study mode, it could be kind of hard to get back into it.”
Starr enrolled in massage therapy classes at Moraine Valley, taking one at a time while she worked at a local transportation company to help her pay for her classes. She was gradually becoming more acclimated to college and before she knew it, she had completed the program.
For the first seven years of her new career, Starr, who is licensed and board and nationally certified, saw clients in her home. Then she saw them in their homes.
“I started thinking I didn’t want to be dragging around that table anymore, so I opened up The Mindful Body in Willow Springs with a friend three years ago,” she said. In addition, she’s working in a chiropractor’s office, and gives massages at hospitals to patients, to parents of young patients to help with their stress and to new parents.
“When I first started out, I was like, ‘what am I doing?’ I didn’t understand what drove me to do this. It starting clicking and I started taking more classes and now it all makes sense,” she said.
She acknowledges her gratitude to Moraine Valley for getting her started. “The teachers I had were amazing. We learned a lot in class and if you needed help, they were there for you.”