Edgar’s journey toward launching his dentistry career began in September 2022. It all started when a friend, who had successfully completed JVS’s Foundations in Dental Assisting program, encouraged him to apply. Although he had always known that he wanted to get into the medical field, he hadn’t considered dentistry as an option until his friend told him about her experience with JVS.
“It was a new direction for me,” Edgar says. “I wanted to become a Medical Assistant or something like that, but since my friend told me how the JVS program went for her, I wanted to try. I actually ended up loving dentistry.”
Before this opportunity, Edgar worked in customer service at various restaurants. He often worked two jobs at a time to cover all of his expenses, which left him no free time on the weekends or in the evenings. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant where he worked closed during the lockdown and eventually went out of business, leaving Edgar out of a job for three months. He tried making ends meet doing grocery shopping for a Bay Area tech company, but he eventually went back to working in restaurants.
“Now that I’m in the dental field, it’s so much better,” Edgar says. “I work a regular schedule. I have my weekends. I have time for myself and friends.”
As part of JVS’s commitment to providing programs that remove barriers to economic mobility, the Foundations in Dental Assisting program included not only the training and certifications that Edgar needed to get started in the dental field, but also funding for transportation to interviews, connections to employers for a paid internship, and reimbursement for his first two sets of scrubs. The program’s support and accessibility exceeded Edgar’s expectations, allowing him to fully focus on his training.
Edgar completed his internship in November 2022 and was offered a permanent job at the general practice clinic where he interned. He worked there for a year before he accepted a job at a private dental office that offers even more procedures, where Edgar can build new skills and prepare for his next steps of becoming a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). After he builds his career as an RDA, Edgar eventually wants to go to Dental Hygienist school for further career advancement.
For those considering applying to the JVS Dental Assisting program, Edgar’s advice is simple: give it a try. He acknowledges the initial uncertainty and fear but emphasizes the potential for discovering a newfound passion and pursuing a fulfilling career in dental assisting.
“Just try it,” Edgar says. “It might be scary at first. I didn’t know anything about the program, and I am a person that doesn’t really like to take risks, so I don’t know how I did that. But just do it and try it because you might end up loving it like I did.”