Callie Ledford and Caitlin Martin are both juniors and Dental Hygiene year one students who are working towards fulfilling their dreams of becoming dental hygienists. Both women dreamed of coming to Carolina and were incredibly excited when they learned of the dental hygiene program and have worked hard to become accepted and thrive in the program.
Callie born and raised in Sylva, North Carolina is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She realized her dream of becoming a dental hygienist during a mission trip she went on with her church one summer, a dental bus that traveled around to underrepresented communities sparked her interest. After graduation, she wants to go back to Cherokee, NC, and work in a dental clinic so that she can help her tribe have healthier, brighter smiles. The part that Callie looks forward to the most about her experience thus far has been the “amazing learning opportunity and having the ability to help our patients feel better about themselves. My ability to give them a clean mouth and brighter smile has been my favorite part.”
Caitlin was born and raised in Roxboro, NC and is a member of the Sappony Tribe. After graduation, Caitlin is planning to return to Roxboro for a couple of years to work in a Dental office at home and bring healthy and happy smiles to her community. She has thoughts of returning to school to complete her master’s degree in Dental Hygiene. Caitlin is aware of the anxiety and fear that some people feel when coming to the dentist but she wants to provide a completely different experience for people that helps to “bring people confidence and happiness through their smiles.”
Both girls have been shocked by the amount that there is to learn about teeth! So far in their dental hygiene journey, they have been able to experience the classroom and clinical work while working on both their peers and patients.
The UNC American Indian Center is proud of their accomplishments and look forward to further seeing their dreams realized.