Tired of Dead Ends, Dental Assistant Student Finds a New Path

Jillian decided to go back to school in pursuit of a new career and found success at Florida Career College in Jacksonville

A series of dead-end jobs drove Jillian Scott to do what she wasn’t sure she would ever do—go back to school.

After dropping out of high school at age 17, Jillian had worked at gas stations, cell phones stores and even done custodial work but as she neared her 30th birthday she was tired of it. She worked hard for her GED but as soon as she had it, she knew she wasn’t ready to stop. The day after she got her GED, she enrolled in the Dental Assistant Program at Florida Career College in Jacksonville.

“I’ve always loved teeth,” Jillian said. “I used to suffer from severe mental illness and I just didn’t take care of myself, especially my dental hygiene. In the last couple of years, I decided I had enough, and I started working on taking better care of my teeth and actually going to the dentist. Just being in the dental office, a lot of people are scared of the dentist, but I don’t mind it. I like having my teeth worked on and when I was there it just felt right—like something I wanted to pursue.”

What struck Jillian about FCC was the welcome she felt walking onto campus. Even on her tough days, she knew she had someone on campus she could call and a supportive instructor in her corner.

“She was incredible,” Jillian said. “She really cared about her students and always made time for us if we needed extra help or whatever. She was always there. Even on bad days she made me want to go, always reminding me I have little eyes watching me.”

All that support helped Jillian achieve straight A’s and excellent attendance.

“She is very dedicated,” said Nikki Hayes, DA Instructor. “She’s very motivating to her classmates and she tries to overcome every obstacle placed in front of her… She didn’t have a lot of things growing up… She wanted to prove that to her kids and she’s doing it. She’s doing an amazing job.”

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Throughout her courses, Jillian kept those little eyes in mind. She has four children that she wants to be an example for and her own mother who she wants to make proud.

“She has always believed in me and knew this day would come,” she said. “I think that the older I got, the less hopeful she might have been getting but then I had this turnaround and proved everybody wrong in my family. Everyone is shocked but very proud of me. I’m going to be 31 and I’m just now figuring everything out in my life. I want to be a better person and a better role model.”

Now that she has finished the Dental Assistant program and is working on her externship Jillian has a lot to look forward to. FCC taught her an important lesson.

“Don’t ever give up on yourself, no matter how old you are,” she said. “There’s always room for improvement. You could be the worst person in the world, but you can become a better version of yourself if you apply yourself and work toward coming up with a goal and not stopping until you achieve that goal.”

If you’re interested in becoming a Dental Assistant, consider enrolling in Florida Career College’s Dental Assisting Program.

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