Graduate is Keeping Career Options Open

“Attending is a lot of work, but it’s incredibly rewarding. When you graduate, you’ll have a significant advantage in finding a job and jump-starting your career. Even if you don’t pursue the program you attended after graduation, you have something to fall back on,” says Kaitlyn Pierce. She is a 2024 graduate of Cuyahoga Heights High School (CHHS) and the Dental Assisting Program at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC). Pierce was recognized in May in the CVCC's Student Connection.

As a student in the Dental Assisting Program under the direction of Lisa Theodore, Pierce particularly enjoyed learning about radiology. Her favorite memory is participating in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition in Toledo this past March. She emerged as a top contender and will participate at the national HOSA International Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas June 26-29. “Participating in HOSA was the first time I felt truly independent. It was so much fun bonding with my classmates–one of them is now my best friend. Traveling for competitions was also a great experience,” said Pierce.

Kaitlyn’s decision to attend CVCC was quite spontaneous. “My English teacher at Cuyahoga Heights showed a video about CVCC, which piqued my interest. Then, a student from the Dental Assisting Program visited my class to share her experience, and the hands-on aspect of the program really drew me in," she said. 

Outside of academics, Pierce enjoys drawing and baking. She also recently gained valuable experience working in the Adult Education Department at CVCC, directed by Terri Lynn Brosseau. In the past few months, she has assisted with handling transcripts, prepared welcome packets for incoming students, and created a window display at the school. She also played a crucial role in updating the 2024 Adult Education class calendars and restructuring the syllabus for the EKG (electrocardiogram class. Pierce said she appreciated the opportunity to explore administrative responsibilities.

Now a graduate, Pierce plans to take a gap year to consider her future. She is considering enrolling at Tri-C and also finding time to travel. She wants to keep her options open career-wise  but is interested in further exploring dental assisting and administrative assisting in a dental office.