Brace Yourself.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

I walk to the waiting area and call, “Michelle,” and she follows me into a big room with three beige, reclining leather chairs. “Have a seat,” I urge, directing her as if I’m a hostess. “Are you ready?” She nods her head; her shoulders tense up, and she lays back against the headrest.

“Is it going to hurt?”

I place my hand on her shoulder, look into her eyes, and smile reassuringly. I tell her what all doctors are trained to say: “It might be a little uncomfortable. I was in your chair once, and it’s so worth it.” Her body relaxes as she flashes a silver smile back at me, and I call Dr. Sanford, the orthodontist, into the room.

In my sophomore year, just two months after my braces were removed, I began working for my orthodontist. My fresh, brace-less pearly smile had given me new-found confidence, and I wanted to share that gift with others. After discussing my interest in orthodontics with the doctor, I discovered he was in search of a clinical assistant. Unsure of the job description, I jumped at the opportunity. The next day, I wore my new work uniform: roomy black scrubs with an oversized pocket (for my curing light) and a blue tie-dyed shirt imprinted with “Alexa” in glitter letters.

I quickly picked up the skills to...

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