Mykeicia Jackson never dreamed of being in the dental field, but when she was ready for a new career, she decided to take a chance and discovered a passion she didn’t know she had.
Mykeicia came to Florida Career College’s Jacksonville campus after leaving the Florida National Guard. She had been working for a while but after she gave birth to her son, she felt like it was time for a career. She knew a trade college would get her where she wanted to go quickly so when her son was just one month old, she decided to enroll. The problem was, Mykeicia didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do.
“There was nothing that made me want to pick dental assisting, it was just something I chose, and I grew to love it,” she said.
She enrolled in the Dental Assistant program. At first, Mykeicia admits, she was nervous, but she quickly warmed up. The hands-on experiences were engaging, the knowledge was useful, and the instructors were always providing motivation.
“She was the life of the party. She was a go-getter,” said Jazmyne Campbell, Mykeicia’s instructor. “She was motivated by her kids to be successful and to keep pushing. She’s very motivated, driven, a pleasure to be around. She was always joyful and happy to be in class. There was never a dull moment with her.”
Mykeicia worked full time during the day while she attended school and would go to class at night. There were many times when she wanted to quit, but she kept pushing through.
“Throughout the program we got certificates and those really motivated me,” she said. “We got certificates for best attendance, good grades, all of that. You would go through a mod, knowing it’s tough but getting that award at the end saying you completed it with a good grade, it was a rewarding feeling.”
DISCOVERING THE IMPORTANCE
The biggest reward came during externship when Mykeicia got the opportunity to work on real patients for the first time. She had already gained a love for the skills but now she saw the impact on real people
“There are some people who did not take care of their mouths throughout their life and as they get older they realize they want to make a change so they come in with really bad hygiene,” she said. “The dental assistants and doctors work together to create those patients a whole new mouth and it has been a really amazing, rewarding job. Hearing the emotions for them is really cool.”
In addition to the rewarding feeling, Mykeicia feels like she has a work-life balance that is important for her growing family.
“Life has changed for the better,” she said. “It’s not a 9-5 job, it’s a career and something I really enjoy. I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work. It makes me feel more confident knowing I know what I’m doing at work due to the skills I learned at FCC.”