Meet Nada J.

Dental Assisting Graduate

“When I first applied I didn't get in because the program was full. So, when they told me there was a spot open I took it, and I’m glad I did!”

A newly arrived immigrant, juggling work, raising a family and hoping to better herself through education. That’s Nada Jaiteh ‘21, who graduated from the Dental Assisting certificate program and hopes to, one day soon, continue her studies in the college’s Dental Hygiene degree program.

“I just moved to the US about four years ago and then moved to Albany about two and a half years ago. At my first job when I came here, I had co-workers that told me about Hudson Valley and how it's a good school,” she said. “I applied in 2019 and I didn't get in because the program was full. So, 2020 came and a lot of people were dropping out because of COVID. They told me there was a spot open. I took it and I’m glad I did!”

After graduation, Nada began work as an assistant in a Colonie dental practice and said she’s trying to better herself and learn as much as she can about the dental profession. She enjoys working as part of team at the practice.

“It can get hectic, but we work through it. Sometimes we have emergencies that come in. Sometimes patients have a broken tooth or an emergency and the doctor's able to fit them in,” she said.

With a young child, another on the way and a full-time job as a dental assistant, she is hoping her mother will be able to move to the United States from her home in West Africa. Extra help with child care will go a long towards helping her continue her education.

“It's going to be tough to have two kids, working full time, going to school full time. If my mom is here, she would definitely be of help. And then I can fully focus on dental hygiene school because that's the goal. It doesn't matter how old I get. If I'm 30, 40, 50, I am definitely going to pursue dental hygiene!”

Right now, she said she’s happy to work with her co-workers and patients at First Advantage Dental in Colonie.

“I feel like I went into this so I could help patients understand how important it is to take care of their oral health. It brings me joy that I'm actually helping a patient and making them realize that, okay, I need to take care of my teeth. If you have good teeth and then good healthy mouth, you have a longer life.”