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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Family Crisis Drives Student To Never Give Up

December 10, 2012

SJVC Dental Assisting Student Angela Cantu Fresno Dental Assisting program student Angela Cantu wasn’t sure she would ever make it to her December 13th graduation ceremony. A few months before the end of her program Angela’s mom, Diana, was diagnosed with breast cancer and their world was turned upside down.

“When we first found out, I couldn’t concentrate on school until I knew what was going on,” says Angela. Their family was in turmoil and their future uncertain. Fortunately for Angela, she had the support of another family, one of classmates and instructors at SJVC.

“Mrs. Sepeda pulled me aside to ask how I was doing,” she says. “I wasn’t doing well in class and just couldn’t concentrate.” Angela’s grades were slipping and she was losing sight of her dream to become a Dental Assistant.

After a lot of thought and counseling, Angela ended up taking a 5-week break to help her mom through her initial treatment and recovery.

“Family comes first for me, and I had to make sure my mom was ok,” she says. Diana is now doing well and everyone is slowly easing back into the routines of their lives.

Angela returned to the DA program ready to complete what she started.

“I never really liked school before, but this school is way different,” she says. “I really enjoy being here, and helping others is where my calling is.”  Angela’s mom got to experience her daughter’s nurturing nature first-hand and in a way that brought them even closer.

“I’m proud of myself for going back to school, for not giving up,” she says. Angela wants to set a good example for her 2-year old daughter, Audrianna. She won’t remember her mom’s struggle and accomplishments, but she will benefit from them for many years to come.

Learn More About A Career In Dental Assisting

Are you interested in dentistry and passionate about helping people? Then a dental assistant career could be for you. Dental assistants work in dental offices under the supervision of dentists. They have excellent interpersonal, organizational and listening skills.

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