Take a leap of faith and follow your passion! That is, Certified Dental Assistant, Chastity Roach’s advice when pursuing a higher education.
Chastity is a November 2015 WVJC graduate. She was a model student, maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout her time in college and always had a smile on her face. That smile is what drove her to embark on a new educational journey.
“I am from Tennessee and I started college there, before moving to WV. When I moved I decided to wait to enroll in college and then here I was, a couple years later, unhappy and working retail hours. That’s when I decided it was time to go back to school. I knew I didn’t want to dive into a big college so I started to research for something that would suit me better. Then I happened to hear an advertisement about WVJC and I decided to look into it,” says Roach.
She then decided she wanted to pursue a career that would continue to evolve and grow but she knew medical assisting or nursing was not what she was interested in doing. From the process of elimination, Chastity began thinking of her own teeth.
“That got me thinking, I have always loved my teeth. Growing up, everyone would complement my smile. That definitely made me want to give other people the same confidence in their smile. So I decided that I would give the dental assisting program a chance.”
Throughout her time at WVJC Charleston, Chastity maintained employment with Build-A-Bear Workshop in the mall. She enjoyed her job and decided upon graduation she would try to keep that position just with less hours to coincide with any dental position she may have. Luckily, Chastity did not have to wonder long about where her education would take her. The week of her graduation, Chastity interviewed and accepted a position with Drs. Panucci and Jackfert Orthodontics. However, her excitement of accepting the position was only strengthened when she was told she needed a passport. Chastity’s first employment training was an all-inclusive trip to Mexico!
“I did have to go to some classes while there but I also had a lot of free time. The classes were just motivational classes that I ended up loving and wanted to go back to every day.”
Since graduating, Chastity has been working between two different locations, one in South Charleston, WV and the other orthodontic office in Gallipolis, OH. Since states have different laws, Chastity just completed another x-ray training for the state of Ohio. She still works for Build-A-Bear Workshop one day a month and the rest of her time is spent in the dental field. She is also busy planning her dream wedding that is coming up in September.
Chastity says, “I’ve been enjoying my career and loving my journey so far.”
When asked what advice she would give other students, she encourages anyone even thinking about college to just go for it!
“Don’t give up. This field can take you more places than you can image. Even if you start small the opportunities are endless!”
She also adds to always be polite to Mrs. Shamblin, the Dental Program Coordinator, because the dental students will need her support. Chastity says Mrs. Shamblin is relatable, an amazing instructor, she makes learning fun, and not to mention all the time she invests into her dental students.
Chastity also says she wouldn’t be where she is today had it not been for her parents, Mrs. Shamblin, Mrs. Miles, her employers (Drs. Panucci and Jackfert), and also her fiancé, James Smith Jr.
From her parents supporting her and her crazy decisions, Mrs. Shamblin always being a cheerleader in her corner, Mrs. Miles for the insider knowledge, and the doctors for taking the leap of faith and giving her the opportunity of a lifetime…to all these individuals’ contributions Chastity has made it as a dental professional.
Ultimately she thanks her fiancé. Chastity says, “He has been my rock, my guidance, my study partner, and my biggest cheerleader. I couldn’t have made it past admissions (where I cried two times because I was scared to start something new) if it wasn’t for all these people and my soon-to be husband.”
If you are inspired by Chastity’s experience and story, take a leap of faith and call West Virginia Junior College Charleston at 304.345.2820 today! Classes are now filling up for the Spring semester!