When Emely Colindres started the dental assisting program at American Career College-Los Angeles, she thought she had bitten off more than she could chew.
“In the beginning, it was hard to come in and still make time for everything I had to do in the morning as a mother of three,” Colindres said. “So in my first module, I did want to quit but I kept pushing, for myself and for my kids and here I am -- I haven't even missed one day of school.”
Tired of being a stay-at-home mom, living paycheck to paycheck with nothing to fall back on, Colindres said she was ready to make a change when she decided to pursue a career in health care.
"What motivated me was struggling. I needed a career. I needed to do something for myself and for my family," she said. "The key to getting through tough times is dedication. If you want it, you get it. And that's it. I did it with the support of my family and the support I got here from the amazing people around me at ACC."
Colindres first learned of ACC while attending the HSE Academy to take the high school equivalency exam. After completing the program, she decided to continue her education and study dental assisting.
Now entering her final module, Colindres is looking forward to wearing her graduation gown along with the silver (G.E.D.), red (perfect attendance), purple (student ambassador) and gold (academic honors) cords she has earned along the way.
“My honor roll cord means the most to me,” she said. “That was something I never got, in high school or middle school. I was always a C, D student so to have pure A's in something that's new to me, is amazing. It feels amazing to me."
Colindres said really enjoys her new field and being able to learn new and different things each day. She said her lessons have now affected her day-to-day interactions and she finds herself being distracted by people's teeth.
"Now when I'm talking to somebody I can't make eye contact... I make mouth contact," she said laughing. “I'm looking at your mouth. It's just a habit I picked up these last eight months here at ACC.”
ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing this program and other important information, visit americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.
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