Celeste Hernandez

Celeste Hernandez

Student, Class of 2017
Major(s): Dental Hygiene

Why did you choose this program (major)?

I have been interested in dental hygiene since grade school. My cousin became a dental hygienist when I was in high school, and I job shadowed her for my senior project. As I increasingly learned about dental hygiene, I knew it was the perfect career for me.

How are you planning to use your degree in the future?

While in the dental hygiene program I was required to take a community health course, which was three terms long. My community health project, along with three other classmates, was to meet the dental needs of the migrant population in Klamath County. We focused on the migrant population in Merrill, Bonanza, and Malin. I was touched by how much this population needed assistance. However, it was not easy for them since finances and transportation were a barrier.

After analyzing our entire project, I want to keep helping and reaching out to those who cannot obtain the care they need. Therefore, I plan to use my degree in the future by working for a public health family practice. Public health practices receive visits from many Oregon Health Plan patients. Public health practices also reach out to the community and provide a “free dental day” once a year. I want to reach out to those who need a helping hand.

Why did you decide to join TOP?

When I was accepted into the Dental Hygiene program in 2014, I was struggling with the many intense classes I was in. I reached out to my dental hygiene advisor about how I could possibly become more focused and less stressed. She gave me some helpful tips and also suggested I reach out to TOP. I was not aware of the TOP program, but I decided to consider it and finally applied.

What is your favorite hobby, and do you have any experiences you would like to share regarding that hobby?

I have many hobbies. Some of them include crafting, hiking, and traveling. One of my favorite is hiking. Last summer, my boyfriend and I visited 10 waterfalls in Oregon in just two days.

What fuels you to succeed?

My parents. They both migrated to the United States about 26 years ago from Mexico to give me and my siblings a better life. They are the reason I am here following my dreams. They not only support me but also make me want to push harder and achieve my goals.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

Jeannie Bopp in the dental hygiene department. She first became an adjunct instructor when I was a junior. Shortly after, she advanced to the senior clinic lead instructor. She was not only very helpful in clinic when seeing patients, but also in our seminar classes.

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