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HSDA Members Tell High School Students About Dental Careers

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 4:49pm

Second-year UTSD dental student Lourdes Tavarez (left) describes options for dental school to Willowridge High School students at a recent career day.

Second-year UTSD dental student Lourdes Tavarez (left) describes options for dental school to Willowridge High School students at a recent career day.

Members of the Hispanic Student Dental Association at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston celebrated “Hispanic Heritage Month” in September by participating in a community service and career recruitment project. 

Willowridge High School’s Career Advisement Class invited HSDA President Paola Salazar, Dental Vice President Lourdes Tavarez, Faculty Advisor Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd, and member Adrien Lewis to speak about the professions of dentistry and dental hygiene. 

The dental profession was highlighted in Achieve Texas in Action, a college- and career-planning guide, as one of the top choices for career satisfaction. Thirty junior and senior students attended the class, along with a few teachers and counselors.

Tavarez, a second-year dental student, gave a PowerPoint presentation about UTSD and the requirements for application to the school’s dental and dental hygiene programs.  She also described the residency programs for the various disciplines in dentistry.

Each HSDA member then met with smaller groups, speaking more personally about the member’s educational pathway and college experiences.  Oral hygiene was emphasized, and each student was given an oral hygiene package.
 
Tavarez said the event reminded her of how it was to be a high school student wanting information and guidance on career opportunities. “I was happy we were able to assist with any questions they had about college enrollment and the professions in dentistry,” she said.

Willowridge College and Career Readiness Advisor Chandra Harvey said the visit not only provided information about dentistry to the high school students, but it inspired them.

“Being able to see other (Hispanic) students who look like them, who have the same background as they do, who speak the same language as they do is proof that with a good education, they, too, can aspire to something great,” she said.