Angel Lee is studying dentistry at New York City College of Technology (City Tech). She is inspiring! Angel is pursuing her dream to become a dental hygienist when she graduates. She told us that it has been her dream since she was a little girl.
We caught up with Angel about her life as a JFEW Scholar and here is what she told us.
JFEW: What has been the most meaningful lesson you have learned or experience that you have had while in college?
AL: During my time in college, one of the most meaningful lessons that I have learned is to not let small matters ruin the bigger picture. Another saying is: don’t sweat the small stuff. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of only controlling what I can and not stressing over things that are beyond my control. While it is important to self-reflect and reassess the situation, I realized that it is unhealthy to beat myself up for something that had already happened.
For example, if I did not do as well as I hoped on an exam, I should not dwell on my marks – but instead, I should focus on how to do better on the next exam. The bigger picture is to use what I learned in the academic setting and apply it to the “real world.” It is more crucial to attain a skill set and build an enjoyable career path than dwell over an exam score.
JFEW: What accomplishment during your time in college are you proudest of?
AL: While I am very proud of my academic achievements in a rigorous program, I am most proud of the friends and connections I’ve made during my time in college. As a dental hygiene student, I was constantly juggling classes, clinic, exams, deadlines, program requirements, etc. I was stressed and overwhelmed, but I have persevered and am now looking forward to my final semester as a dental hygiene student. Not only did it take my personal efforts to get to this point, but I also relied on my family, friends, and peers to achieve my goals. My dental hygiene friends are my biggest support system and kept me grounded. We created a bond through studying, laughing, and stressing together. Years later, I hope to remember more fond memories of friendship than the rigor of studying and sleepless nights.
JFEW: What’s the most important thing you learned by participating in the JFEW program (the scholarship, workshops and/or internships)? What does being a JFEW Scholar mean to you?
AL: Through the JFEW program, I learned that I am not alone; I am financially and professionally supported by the JFEW team. As a JFEW Scholar, I was very fortunate to be able to intern at a hospital’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery department. I was able to work with patients who needed dental hygiene services and see how dentists and oral surgeons work in a hospital setting. The most rewarding experience is to hear patients’ encouraging and positive remarks after working with them. I learned that patients do not only value the professionals’ skill set, but they also value the professionals’ sincerity and care. If the healthcare provider treats patients with empathy and kindness, then patients will be more compliant. However, if the patient does not feel respected despite the healthcare provider’s high skill set, then the patient will be unhappy regardless.
JFEW: How do you envision your future when you graduate? What do you hope to do?
AL: After I graduate, I wish to obtain my professional license and begin my career as a registered dental hygienist. I want to educate the population of the connection between dental hygiene and systemic health and its importance and use my skills and knowledge togive back to the community and serve those in need. Additionally, after graduation, I wish to enjoy my life a bit more – since I have spent most of my time with my textbooks during the school years. I hope to spend more time with my loved ones and travel more.