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The birth of my first child altered my life forever, as this led me to accept a position as dental assistant, which changed the course of my professional and academic pursuits. A life full of challenges and false starts finally led me to discover my true path: dental school. I believe that my circuitous journey to becoming a dentist has instilled me with a unique perspective on the field, which will definitely serve to make me a more compassionate dentist. Having faced hardships in my personal life has made me realize that I can overcome anything, given my strength, and that I have a great deal to offer.
As an only child, and the first grandchild on both sides of the family, my early childhood was charmed until my parents’ divorce when I was just nine years old. The double trauma of the break-up of my family unit and then moving to a new town inspired me to challenge myself as a student and an individual. I found the wonders of team sports in high school through the volleyball team, and learned a number of invaluable lessons from this experience. I learned the importance of leading and working with a team, and to this day I strive to excel as an individual for the benefit of the group or task at hand.
The lessons learned through my early life also prepared me well for the challenges of college and supporting myself. While attending community college, I worked full-time while maintaining my status as a full-time student. I applied the lessons learned in my early life to enhance my student life, confident in the knowledge that every obstacle provided me an opportunity for improving myself. I learned, for example, the importance of time-management and organization throughout this time, and continue using the skills acquired to maintain my academic, professional and personal life.
My initial desire to become a nurse fueled my decision to complete my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program while pregnant with my first child. My experiences as a CNA in a local nursing home helped me realize, however, that this was not my calling. Shortly after my daughter’s birth, I accepted a job opportunity as a Dental Assistant. Although I initially accepted the job solely as a means of supporting my family, I soon realized that I love dentistry! Finally, I found my true path.
Working with Dr. XXX changed my vision of what my future could be, as he inspired me to expand my training through a degree in Dental Hygiene. As the first member of my family to complete college, I was jubilant. Since successfully completing my licensure as a Dental Hygienist in 2003, I have had the honor of working with and learning from a number of professionals in the field. After the birth of my twin boys in 2007, I decided that I wanted to continue my dental training and become a dentist. As such, I started taking the required coursework and am now ready for beginning the next phase of my journey – Dental School at the University of XXX.
Since my days as a dental hygiene student, I have committed myself to giving back to the community. I believe that advancing myself academically and professionally provides a platform to fulfill my responsibility for helping others. As an active member of the Environmental Club, for example, I enjoyed cleaning local roadways of litter. We also educated the community about recycling and the importance of sustaining the world’s precious natural resources. As a mother, I consider this my responsibility to future generations.
Most recently, I have served as an adjunct professor at XXX College, sharing my knowledge of Dentistry with students considering a career in the field. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching Dental Materials and Radiography and sharing clinical skills with my students. I believe it is my duty as a professional to help train future generations and believe my teaching abilities will also serve me well as a future dentist. Specifically, my experience as an educator helped me to recognize that there are various learning styles, which will help me explain diagnoses and treatment plans to my future patients. Now nearing the completion of my Liberal Arts degree, I am excited by my future of completing dental school.
Beyond academia, volunteering with the Organization fuels my passion for completing dental school, as this link will allow me to provide dental care to the under- and un-insured in our community. Assisting doctors through the ministry provides me with a tremendous sense of satisfaction and determination to complete my education so that I can eventually bring a dental hygiene clinic back to the church. I am in awe of the oral surgeons who run the clinic, and look forward to joining their effort as a dentist. I know that completing Dental School will help me achieve my goals and provide me a strong foundation for helping those in need.