Meet Concorde DA Graduate Trenisha Jones

dental assistant

Little did she know it at the time, but a fear of going to the dentist as a child led to a fulfilling and rewarding career as a dental assistant for Trenisha Jones.

"I remember I would just cry and cry every time my mom would take me to the dentist when I was little," said Jones, now a wife and mother living in Arlington, Texas. "I just decided that I needed to learn more about it to take that fear away."

"As I got older and learned more about (dentistry), I got more and more interested in it and knew that was something I wanted to do."

Needing to provide for her family

After Jones gave birth to her daughter, she knew she wasn't going to be able to provide for her family the way she wanted working part-time at a call center. A happenstance drive in a car with her then fiance, now husband, changed everything.

"One day, we were just driving by the Concorde campus that was then in Arlington, and I said, 'I think they have a Dental Assistant program,'" Jones said. "I stopped by, the people inside were very nice and helpful. I got some information, got what I needed."

She enrolled in Concorde's Dental Assistant program in October 2013, and the experience that followed was a "life-changer for me," she said.

"The teachers and staff were wonderful; they were really there to help you," Jones said. "From day one, I learned a lot to help me in the dental field. The teachers explain things really well."

"I really liked the hands-on part of it. I remember things if it's hands-on. That's how I best learn."

In fact, Jones learned her material so well that when she went to pick up her cap and gown before graduation, she saw that it came with a gold medallion, signifying that she was valedictorian of her class, finishing her program with perfect attendance and a 4.0 grade-point average.

Enjoying the Lamplighter life

Jones said she went out of her way to become involved in everything she could while at Concorde, including becoming a student ambassador "Lamplighter."

"Being a Lamplighter was a lot of fun," she said. "We helped with orientation with new classes coming in, just helping other students around the school."

Her time as a Lamplighter was nearly short-lived, however, when she fell on some hard financial times during her program and got behind on her payments. Then, some more good fortune fell upon her while driving. A few days earlier, she had submitted her name to a contest at KKDA-FM radio (K104) in Dallas, a contest in which the winner would have her outstanding college bill paid by the station.

"I was driving my child to school and heard my name," she said. "It was a real blessing."

Life as a Dental Assistant

For the final portion of her program, Jones performed an externship at Dentures and Dental Services in Arlington. When it came time for her externship to end, her employer did not want to let her go. They hired her full-time and, today, she is a Patient Care Coordinator with the company.

Jones also is thinking of taking the next step in her career in dentistry.

"I've been in contact with Concorde about their Dental Hygiene program," she said. "I wouldn't go anywhere else but Concorde."

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