“Focus right away and not later like I did”

Sarah T. will soon be finishing her last module in the Certificate in Dental Assisting program and leaving for externship. In this interview, she talks about why having a child has helped her to become more focused and a better student. She also talks about what is motivating her to be successful and why she chose the dental assisting field.

CHARTER SUCCESS (CS):  What did you do before coming to Charter College and why did you decide to go back to school?

SARAH:  I was working in Los Angeles at a dry cleaners and having fun. I thought about going to college and getting a career but then I got pregnant and had my son. I waited until he got older and then started at Charter College.

CS:  Why did you choose dental assisting as a career choice?

SARAH:  When I was 14, a skateboard hit my face and almost knocked my front teeth out. The dentist fixed it by doing a root canal and composite filling and now you can’t tell. I was scared because they were my front teeth and now they’re pretty again. I thought it was so cool that the dentist could do that for people and I decided to look into dental.

CS:  How is your education at Charter College going so far?

SARAH:  I’m in my second to last module and it’s been really good. I love my classmates. In the beginning, I didn’t grasp the concept that I’m in school and paying for all of this and that I needed to get the knowledge down. But now it’s later in the program and I need to get serious and buckle down.

CS:  After having your son, did that motivate you to become more focused in school?

SARAH: Before I had my son, I looked at life differently and could work at Pizza Hut and have enough money to go out on the weekends. Now everything is about my son which has made me focus more. I need to get a place for us to live and have a steady life that’s not crazy or unorganized.

CS:  What do you like to do in your free time?

SARAH:  I like to draw. But now that I have a kid, I don’t have a lot of spare time. I want to get back to drawing and will draw anything. I’ll see something and want to draw it.

CS:  Do you have any advice for new students that are starting the dental assisting program?

SARAH: Focus right when you get into the course and learn it. Know that it’s very important to get everything like the tray setups, x-rays and charting down. Once you get to extern, you will have to know this stuff or it will be embarrassing. Focus right away and not later like I did.

CS:  What is motivating you to be successful?

SARAH: My son and making a better life for him so that he will have the things he wants and needs and not have to struggle.

CS:  What are your plans after Charter College?

SARAH:  I have a sister who lives in Las Vegas that wants to help me find a job right after I graduate. My other choice is to stay in the area and look on my own with the help of Career Services. I want to work in a dental office and continue my education and eventually get into expanded functions.