Celina Johnson — Associate in Applied Science, Dental Hygiene
“She was extremely compassionate and it was obvious that she loved her career and her patients,” Johnson said. “I’ve always respected and been inspired by impassioned people such as her.”
Toward the end of high school, she began looking at career options. One of her other career options was to be a teacher, and she soon made the connection that hygienists are educators.
“I fell even more in with the idea of being a dental hygienist,” she said. “I get to be an oral health educator at the same time that I connect and continue to learn lessons from my own patients.”
Johnson chose to attend MCC as it was the closest and cheapest option available. She said she is glad she did, as the program implements mindfulness, rotations that provide worldly experiences and many more challenges that transform students.
“I am eternally grateful that I happened to stumble upon such an amazing program,” Johnson said.
Prior to the second semester of this program, her father passed away at age 51. She was offered the opportunity to push back her graduation date but declined due to her motivation in the program, and life in general.
“I also thought about what my father would want me to do,” Johnson said. “He would tell me to keep pushing myself, keep working hard to earn my grades, degree, and registration as a dental hygienist. My mother has said on many occasions to her four children ‘Do something to make Dad proud today.’ I can tell you from the deepest depths of my soul that I have thought about my dad every single day and pushed myself even harder than I knew was possible. I’ve grown stronger through this tragedy in my life, as well as through the trials of dental hygiene school.”
Johnson said she was able to return to her schooling with the help of resilience practices she learned from her dental hygiene faculty, as well as her own yoga teacher mother.
“I am blessed to have mindfulness practices to turn to, especially on hard days,” she said. “I was always physically present at school, but there were a few weeks where I cried at school and I began to learn how to better handle when my emotions came up at inconvenient times such as patient care. There are many helpful practices that the faculty have put in place to aid in my schooling as well as my emotional intelligence.”
Johnson said her dad always reminded his children of the golden rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
“I’ve always tried to live in a righteous, honest, and also loving way,” she said. “Through my schooling and clinical experience I have been able to apply this and treat my patients with compassionate care.”
Johnson’s career goals include working at multiple private practice offices to gain various experiences, as well as exploring other options in the dental field.
“My education goals are to get my bachelor’s degree, learn sign language and simply to never stop learning,” she said.