Photo courtesy SISD

Socorro ISD Community Education celebrates first-ever cohort of certified dental assistants

The Socorro Independent School District Community Education program celebrated its first-ever cohort of certified dental assistants who recently completed the program and are ready for the workforce in the dental field.

“This is a very great accomplishment,” said Barbara Wright, CTE and dental assistant instructor at Socorro High School. “Words can’t even describe how proud I am of this group of students.”

The adult education program continues to provide endless opportunities for students in various vocational fields, including the dental program in which students can prepare for and take the Registered Dental Assistant State Board Exam for dental assistants.

The program is designed to train students to assist a dentist or dental hygienist with functions at a dental practice. Students learn chairside assistance, patient preparation, office systems, dental office laboratory procedures and dental radiography.

Career Pathway and Transitions Coordinator Mary Jo Ochoa-Hernandez said she hopes to continue growing the vocational programs within the Community Education program.

“I enjoy paying it forward to these adult learners,” Ochoa-Hernandez said. “They are the reason we are here today, thankfully they have put their trust in us to brighten their future.”

Many adult learners juggle earning their education while raising a family but still manage to accomplish their goal.

“Not a day goes by where I don’t experience a story like these students have today,” said Anthony Fraga, SISD Director of Community Education. “The barriers they have to overcome in order to complete a program like this is amazing.”

The first group of students who completed the program and passed the RDA State Board Exam for dental assistants were grateful for the opportunity and worked tirelessly to earn their certification. Here are their thoughts on the experience:

  • Aracely Craft
    “I am so glad I passed the exam! It was hard but we all passed it,” Craft said.
  • Blanca Jimenez
    “I got so excited when I found out about the program,” Jimenez said. “Being a mom, working and still studying was not easy, but I got it done!”
  • Josue Cardenas
    “The program was pretty intense,” Cardenas said. “With the whole pandemic, we all had to adjust and get through it, but we did, and it feels pretty awesome.”
  • Julie Olivas-Sanchez
    “Mrs. Wright is an excellent teacher,” Olivas-Sanchez said. “We learned so much with her, she had so much patience and gave us hope for our futures.”
  • Keytt Aragon
    “As a single mom with two kids I wanted to prove to them what I can do,” Aragon said. “I wanted to show them that I can work and go to school at the same time.”
  • Rosanna Flores
    “It was tough to be back in school after so long,” Flores said. “Which is why I am so grateful to have a teacher like Mrs. Wright and everyone else who rooted for me.”
  • Vanessa Holguin
    “I have always wanted to do something in the medical field,” Holguin said. “The adult education program was a great opportunity for me, and I took it.”

For more about SISD Community Education programs, click here.