Hard of hearing no hindrance to aspiring dentist
David Covarrubias was born and raised in Pico Rivera. When he was a baby he didn't twitch or respond when someone clap next to his ear. Later he was diagnosed as hard of hearing. At first he didn't want others to know that he wore hearing aids, but gradually he became comfortable about it.
Originally he enrolled at Cerritos College to become a chef; however, after taking dental assisting classes to keep his full-time status for his health insurance, he found the dental field enjoyable and decided to stay in the dental assisting program.
His first interning opportunity was at the USC School of Dentistry where he learned what dental students needed to do, prerequisites to get accepted into the program, and the lifestyle of a dental student. He also got a glimpse of all dental specialities including oral surgery and orthodontics which he found interesting.
Following the internship at USC, he interned with a fully licensed dentist. Covarrubias was impressed with the dentist, who also taught at USC, and his passion for his profession.
Then, Covarrubias was selected to participate in the Summer Intensive Transfer Experience (STEM SITE) program at UCLA as part of the Center for Community College Partnership (CCCP) Scholars Program.
STEM SITE provided information, resources and pathways in science fields to transferring students. The program provides intensive transfer science coursework in math, chemistry and physics, vital information on science research and support programs for science majors, and opportunities to interact with faculty and visit labs.
In this program as a UCLA CCCP Scholar student, Covarrubias was able to stay in the UCLA dormitory for a week and had an incredible experience. He was able to meet professors and students who are working on higher degrees. "We also had a one-on-one meeting with admissions staff and received advice on our academic plans," said Covarrubias.
He attributes his success at Cerritos College to its DSPS program and its counselor, Jamila Guerrero-Cantor who encouraged him to apply to the CCCP Scholars Program and gave him great advice and services offered at Cerritos College such as note taking, seating accommodation and video captions in classes.
He hopes to one day have his own private dental practices specializing in oral surgery or orthodontics.
The Campus Connection - April 30, 2012