TCC’s tagline is Success Within Reach. Our latest graduates have reached that milestone in their educational journey at TCC. In this series, we want to introduce you to some of them.
Ashley Emery is anything but traditional. She grew up in a non-traditional home, and she took a non-traditional approach to her college education. She soon will cross the stage to receive her diplomas, that’s right—diplomas, her Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene from TCC and her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Texas Woman’s University, both earned concurrently.
Not only that, but Ashley is graduating debt-free. “Student loans are not in my wheelhouse, financially or emotionally,” she said.
So, how did she do it? Her education at TCC was paid for by a scholarship and because she worked, saved and sacrificed, she was able to pay for her education at Texas Woman’s University with cash. After high school, she worked as a nanny and later as dental assistant for an orthodontist. Because she saved so well, she was able to focus solely on her education without worrying about a job.
Working for the orthodontist inspired her interest in dental hygiene as a career. Another non-traditional fact about Ashley—following her graduations, she will go back to work for the orthodontist as his new dental hygienist, which is rare because typically, orthodontists do not offer that type of service.
What advice does Ashley have for students considering TCC, especially the Dental Hygiene program? Watch who you model/emulate, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed with classes and studies, sit at the front of the class!
Finally, watch out for “Imposter Syndrome,” where you can be plagued with feelings of self-doubt. Have confidence and keep chipping away at your goals, which can lead to a lot of self-growth.
One more piece of advice Ashley might offer—be willing to take a non-traditional approach where needed. Thanks to her doing that, her future is bright, and she has a smile to match.