JFEW Scholar Roseanna Torres is in the dental hygiene program at New York City College of Technology (City Tech). She says she owes so much of her success to the fact that she has had a mentor all along the way. By being open to radical changes and possibilities, her definition of success has never been clearer than it is now. She told us, “It's the feeling that you get when you have a positive impact on someone's life. Whether it is my patients, fellow students or coworkers - there is no greater feeling of success for me. It is this vision that has inspired me to pursue a higher level of education to eventually become a professor of dental hygiene instruction. “
We loved speaking to Roseanna. She’s an inspiration. Here are more snippets from our conversation about life as student and what her hopes are for beyond college.
JFEW: What has been the most meaningful lesson you have learned or experience that you have had while in college?
RS: The most meaningful lesson that I have learned while in college is that it is better to be valued than to be successful according to today's standards. I have been very fortunate to have great mentors available to me throughout my journey in the dental hygiene program. One of my mentors, who is both a clinical professor and instructor, has been an extremely influential part of my growth and development throughout the program. She has inspired me to further pursue my education and has shown me a world of possibilities for future career advancement beyond being a dental hygienist. She has also influenced me to redefine what being successful means to me.
JFEW: What accomplishment during your time in college are you proudest of?
RS: Thus far, my greatest accomplishment during my time in college was being selected as the 2018-2019 NYDHA Student Delegate. NYDHA (New York State Dental Hygiene Association) is a chapter of the ADHA (American Dental Hygiene Association). NYDHA is a professional association that represents dental hygienists in New York State. They develop and maintain high standards for dental hygiene education, licensure and practice through legislative activity, ongoing education of dental hygienists, and collaborative endeavors with regulatory agencies and other professional associations. I traveled to Syracuse for the award and was extremely grateful for this experience and very proud to represent City Tech's program.
JFEW: What’s the most important thing you learned by participating in the JFEW program?
RS: The most important thing that I learned by participating in the JFEW program is that I have an obligation to conduct myself with the highest level of professionalism attainable at all times and to lead by example. The JFEW summer internship program was a crucial part of my development as a clinician. I worked in a private dental practice where I had the privilege of being mentored by a highly skilled dental hygienist. Participating in this internship completely validated my career choice and even further fueled my passion for patient care.
Being a JFEW scholar has been a great privilege that I am very proud of.
JFEW: How do you envision your future when you graduate? What do you hope to do?
RS: I plan to further my education by attaining my bachelor's and then master's degrees. I envision myself working as a clinician who is exposed to a wide variety of patients and who maintains the highest ethical standards for their care and treatment. I also plan on continuing to be an active member of NYDHA, hopefully eventually serving as a board member. The advancement of the dental hygiene profession is extremely important to me and I hope to be a part of its progression and positive change. Additionally, I hope to remain involved on some level with City Tech's dental hygiene department by helping to increase awareness of our clinic and supporting student clinician professional development. My long term goal is to become an educator and to hopefully have students of my own. If I can inspire just one student the way that I have been inspired, then I have certainly succeeded.