The Michigan Dental Association Foundation proudly presents a recipient of the 2012-13 Academic year, Michigan Dental Association Foundation Robert D. Mitus Scholarship, to Alejandra Mejia from Columbus, Mich. The Foundation had the opportunity to chat with the recipient and would like to share some of her thoughts and inspirations regarding dentistry:
Where do you go to school, which schools have you attended on your journey to becoming a dental professional?
I currently attend Baker College of Port Huron, with my major in dental hygiene. I have also attended a technical school called Ross Medical Education Center, in which I received my certification as a medical assistant.
Why did you want to become a dental professional?
I wanted to become a dental professional because I enjoy the one on one interaction with patients, and I have always had a pleasant experience at my dentist’s office.
Who inspired/mentored you along the way? (Include any names.)
The person that inspired me has been my aunt, Maria, who is a dental assistant.
What is the best advice you have been given while in the pursuit of your career?
The best advice I have been given while in the pursuit of my career is to never give up pursuing your dreams, no matter how hard the road to success may be.
What advice can you give to students thinking about pursuing a career in dentistry?
I would tell students to immerse themselves into the dental hygiene culture to be the best you can be and to study, study, study.
What do you enjoy the most about dentistry?
I enjoy making a difference in a person’s smile, as well as making a personal connection with my patients.
Can you share a story or experience that made you realize that dentistry was the right profession for you?
I had a patient that had severe anxiety of going to the dentist and because of this fear he had not been to the dentist in 10 years. It took some convincing on behalf of his girlfriend and the amazing front desk personnel at the clinic in my school but we scheduled him an appointment. I had the pleasure of taking care of him, and I took my time while taking his X-rays, let’s just say that by the end of the appointment he was feeling right at home. This is when I realized that dentistry was the right profession for me because I had made a personal impact in someone’s life.
Is there one procedure you enjoy the most?
I enjoy taking X-rays.
How has winning the Michigan Dental Association Foundation Scholarship helped you?
Winning the Michigan Dental Association Foundation Scholarship has been a blessing, and it has helped me to pay for my boards because I had to come up with the money on my own.
Where do you see yourself in six months after graduation?
After graduation I see myself working in an established dental office.
Where do you see yourself in three/10 years after graduation?
I see myself pursuing my bachelor’s degree. I also see myself going on missionary trips and teaching.
Have you attended any local, state or national dental meetings?
I have attended the ADHA locally.
If so, what did you enjoy about attending the meeting? If no, why not?
I have enjoyed the workshops they provide.
Do you see yourself participating in organized dentistry, serving on a committee on either a national, state or local level? If so which one interests you?
Yes, I would be interested in participating in a committee national, state or at local level.
What do you like to do beyond dentistry (hobbies, talents, etc.)?
Beyond dentistry, I enjoy hanging out with my family. I am a movie junkie and can’t get enough. I also like to hang out with my friends and my husband. I love to travel locally and abroad.
Thank you for a glimpse into the life of a Michigan Dental Association Foundation Robert D. Mitus Scholarship recipient. Your hard work and efforts are clearly demonstrated. You will be an asset to the dental profession.
The Michigan Dental Association Foundation awards scholarships annually to dental, dental hygiene and dental assisting students. We believe that the people of Michigan deserve exceptional oral health professionals. All scholarships are given to Michigan residents attending Michigan universities and colleges. The Michigan Dental Association Foundation is devoted to becoming the philanthropic leader of the oral health community in order to fund student scholarships, provide oral health initiatives and access to care.