Danubia Campos dreams big. A law degree, or maybe one in international relations. Possibly a career with the United Nations or even one as a Supreme Court Justice.

"Your mother nation is not where you are born. It\'s the nation that embraces you, where you have the opportunity. If I had never left, I would probably be married, have kids, not have gone to college, not have planned any of the things I\'m planning right now.

\"[In Brazil] I had a feeling like I was a little, caged bird.\"

Another way in which she is different from most Brazilian immigrants is that she came here young.

\"There have been Brazilians here for a long time, but not school-age Brazilians. When I got here there were two Brazilians in the Tisbury school and one girl in the Edgartown school. I graduated from the high school in 1999, part of only the second graduating class that had Brazilians in it. The first was 1998.\"

She graduated an honors student from Cape Cod Community College this spring, and is now assessing university options.

Ms. Campos recalled that she was just \"thrown in with the Americans in school\" with a couple of her cousins, forcing them to learn the language.

\"I remember getting so angry. Like, I\'m never going to learn this language. Never. Don\'t insist, I speak Portuguese. I was born this way. I\'m never going to learn English.\"

She did, but it was tough, and she recalled feeling isolated for a long time.

\"I thought that nobody knew me. I remember it was the end of 1998, the winter ball, before I realized people even knew who I was.\"

It was a moment of epiphany. \"I was secluding myself - they would be friends, but we didn\'t allow them to be.

\"That\'s when I realized, wow, Americans are actually receptive. They\'re never going to know you if you don\'t give them a chance, if you just walk around with your head down.\"

Too many of the Brazilian community, she said, make that mistake. And from the time of that sudden understanding, she set herself to become what she calls a door-opener.

\"I\'ve always opened up little doors. I was the first person to work at Stop & Shop, in the office. The first Brazilian at Cronig\'s, at Reliable Market, at the Martha\'s Vineyard Insurance agency - where I saw there was a need for someone who spoke Portuguese.

\"I open a little door, I step back, others go through,\" she said.

Like most Brazilians - and many other Islanders - she has almost always worked multiple jobs, ranging from a candy store to a dentist center, various restaurants, an attorney\'s office, a rental car outfit.

\"I usually work two, three jobs, sometimes four,\" she said. \"In the summertime when I have a day off I don\'t know what to do with myself.\"

Most notably, she has set herself up as an organizer of Brazilian events on the Island, a job which started more or less by accident in the winter of 2004.

\"I had a friend who did it for the Lampost, but she was getting married. When I said ‘Ruby, we need a party, it\'s wintertime, I\'m going crazy\' - she was too busy, so she passed it on to me.

\"I was just going to school and only had one job then, so I had time.\"

Many others have followed that first gig at the Atlantic Connection.

\"I was the first one to bring a Brazilian act to the Island. I planned the first Brazilian Carnaval, with Imigrasamba, a nine-piece band from the Boston area. I\'ve done parties with famous DJs, Brazilian actors, various bands. The most famous was Oludum [familiar to non-Brazilians as the group which provided percussion on Paul Simon\'s Rhythm of the Saints album]. They came in June 2004.

\"It was so great. When they started playing those drums I thought the whole place was going to come right down. It was so packed that at the end of the night, when the music stopped people were still dancing like they were stuck to each other,\" she said.

\"I make very little money out of it, usually about enough to pay my phone bill. Mostly I do it because it\'s personally rewarding. People on the Island get depressed, homesick. I went through depression when I first got here with the cultural shock, because I wanted a little bit of Brazil, too.\"

Her current project is what she calls a \"pre-revillon\" (a pre-New Year\'s party) at Outerland on Dec. 29. The band will be Banda Ponto Com (band dot com), a Brazilian-American crossover band from Boston.

\"They have such a presence,\" she said. \"They\'ve come twice before, they play some things Americans would know, and some Americans have come before, but not as many as I would wish. Anybody\'s welcome.\"

Her American friends call her a Brazilian Islander, a term she proudly adopts, for it describes not just her experience but her aspirations.

If she becomes a lawyer, her practice will be immigration law; her ambition to the Supreme Court is based on the belief that it needs someone who has had the immigrant experience. And if she gravitates to international relations, it will be because she wants to reconcile the desires of the world\'s have-nots with the trepidation of the world\'s haves.

\"I just hate injustice,\" she said. \"Wherever I can do more good, be of more help, that\'s where I\'ll go.\"