Graduates of the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program can expect personal satisfaction, prestigious employment, job stability and benefits, and great pay. Here are a couple of examples.
Years ago, Nando Estrada arrived from Guatemala seeking a better life for himself and his family. He gives much credit to the Cabrillo Dental Hygiene program for what he has achieved for his family. After graduating from the program, he attained financial stability – increasing his income from $16/hour to $55/hour – which has allowed him to help his mom and provided the opportunity for his wife to stop working and go back to school. But just as important, Nando “is doing something I love. My work increases patient’s self-esteem and social lives. People start smiling again.”
Nando knew he wanted to help people in some way. Learning that dental hygiene is one of the few careers that is mandated to do cancer screenings, which was important to him, Nando explored the idea.
He decided upon the Cabrillo Dental Hygiene Program after meeting the staff at the student orientation. “It was the staff the made me choose the program since it was clear that they were there to help people and wanted people to succeed.” Once in the program, he realized that he made the right decision.
“Going through the program was the hardest thing I’ve done academically. But they helped all along the way.” That help also included going out of their way to find needed financial resources.
Since becoming a hygienist Nando has found something suspicious in two patients’ oral cavities. “They had no idea but now can keep an eye on it.”
Heidi says that she has always been interested in the dental field, especially after she got her own braces. Her background in the military and extensive government service helped her to reach her lifetime goal of becoming a Registered Dental Hygienist. She received her undergraduate degree in biology before joining Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program.
Heidi found that Cabrillo College provided a very positive environment and the teachers were very supportive. "It is a beautiful school with a beautiful clinic and great people.” “Everyone was so respectful of the students and wanted students to succeed,” says Heidi.
Heidi was able to concentrate on her studies after she received the High Achiever Scholarship. One month after graduating from the DH program, Heidi began the UC San Francisco Masters Program and finished in one year. She was offered a teaching position before she finished the program. She works in private practice clinic and conducts dental research.
During the program Heidi was an advocate in the community. She not only represented Cabrillo at the state and local level, but she helped implement a program for underserved Veterans. This program continues today meeting the needs of underserved Veterans.
“I absolutely love what I do. Everything I do today, Cabrillo Dental Hygiene program 100% prepared me for.”, Heidi shared.