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Smiling – and helping others to smile, too

Dental assistant second in Promise program to graduate

Laura Valle

Laura Valle was unsure of her teeth and her smile when she was younger. She’s long overcome that – and now smiles openly when talking about her new career.

Her new career will help others to keep their own teeth healthy and bright so they, too, can smile as much as Laura.

Laura, a graduate of Gateway’s Dental Assistant diploma program, says the college has readied her for her career and to take on the next step in life.

“I feel like I’m prepared for my career. My clinical training prepared me for the real working world and helped me to become a better dental assistant.”

Laura already has landed a position at an area dental clinic and her career has begun to positively impact her life.

Laura says she’s always wanted to go to college for family and career reasons and made the choice to attend Gateway upon her graduation from high school.

“I feel like I’m prepared for my career. My clinical training also prepared me for the real working world and helped me to become a better dental assistant.”

- Laura Valle

At the time, though, she felt the cost to do so would be high and the time to pay back the bills long – until she learned about the Promise program. The program made all the difference in the world for her.

“Going to college would have been much harder without the Promise program. I would have had to pay off college for a long time. I am so grateful I was able to get into the program.”

The Promise program fills the gap between financial aid received and cost of attending Gateway, which includes tuition and fees for qualifying students. Laura is the second student to graduate from the Promise program.

Laura said the structure of the Promise program, which includes Gateway student service and other wraparound services, has helped her in other ways, as well.

“It’s helped me financially, but the program has also helped me to know what I want to do in my future, my career. I wanted to further my education, but I didn’t know what would be the best fit for me. I realize now it’s in dentistry.”