The American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) have selected three winners of the 2021 ADAA/DANB Scholarship:
- Stacey Simon, CDA, COA, RDA, EFDA, FADAA, B.A.
- Angelica Morales-Maez, CDA
- Jami Van Enkevort, CDA, FADAA
Ms. Simon, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, works as a dental coordinator with His Hands Free Clinic, a nonprofit ministry providing free healthcare to Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. She started with the clinic as a dental volunteer, moving into the role of dental assistant before being promoted into her current position. Ms. Simon is a 2017 graduate of the dental assisting program at Kirkwood Community College and plans to use her scholarship funds toward the cost of completing the online Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) certificate program at Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The year-long program began in January 2022.
“As I was volunteering, a spark began to grow inside me to better assist those with limited access to dental care and/or those without dental insurance. I’m passionate about doing everything I can to help people,” says Ms. Simon. “When I received information in the mail about the CDHC program, I was thrilled. I believe this is what I’m meant to do.
“Through the CDHC program, I plan to take my skills and expertise into the community to help those most in need,” continues Ms. Simon. “I’m very excited to start this journey in my career and take my knowledge base to the next level.”
Ms. Morales-Maez, of Fairbanks, Alaska, works as an oral surgery assistant at Bassett Army Community Hospital at Fort Wainwright. Her dental career began more than 10 years ago in the U.S. Army when she became a dental technician, then transitioned from active-duty status into serving in the U.S. National Guard and working as a civilian. Ms. Morales-Maez plans to use her scholarship funds for pursuing DANB Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) certification.
“I originally sought CDA certification to ready myself for the future,” Ms. Morales-Maez shares. “I’ve always wanted to take the CRFDA exams, too, because I believe CRFDA certification will help me to be even more effective and support more providers in our clinic. If anybody is on the fence about getting certified, or deciding whether they should stop at one certification, I feel that they should continue. You should always stay a little hungry.”
Ms. Van Enkevort, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been a dental assistant for 30 years. She has worked for the past three years as a dental assistant instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), where she encourages her students to earn and maintain DANB certification. She holds Fellowship in the ADAA and is currently pursuing Mastership. Ms. Van Enkevort plans to use her scholarship funding toward completing an Educational and Clinical Application for Proprietary Radiology Educators course offered through University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry, to begin in spring 2022.
“I want my students to know that knowledge is power, and no one can take your education from you,” shares Ms. Van Enkevort. “By completing this UNC course, I strive to gain the necessary tools to teach students how to be excellent radiographers, along with providing them with the information necessary for their certification or license examinations. This scholarship benefits me not only personally, but also professionally, and it will benefit the future dental assistant students who attend NWTC.”
About the scholarship
The ADAA/DANB Scholarship, open to all ADAA members in good standing, is awarded annually to dental assistants who demonstrate a strong commitment to career growth and lifelong learning. Winners receive between $250 and $1,000 to help turn their professional development plans into reality. To learn more, visit www.danb.org or www.adaausa.org.