BCCC was the perfect choice for eight-year Navy veteran Alicia Stewart, who traveled to some of the most sensitive military locations in the aftermath of 9/11. Alicia, who was always interested in a career in health, gained invaluable experience in the Navy first as a hospital corpsman, where she learned firsthand the often demanding requirements of patient care; then in psychology, as a counselor to military personnel having to undergo multiple deployments. Working in the Navy’s “Deploying Dads” program, Alicia was often the crucial sounding board - the first line of defense for those caught up in a world of personal, psychological and familial distress.
Alicia wouldn’t discover her true passion until through little more than on-the-job training, she performed dental cleanings in the extremely difficult conditions of a military prison. Despite the “intimidation factor” of the place, she developed a rapport with patients. Her most challenging moment? “When I did my very first cleaning,” she says. “I was afraid the patient might bite down on my hand.” In the end, she did fine. The patient even complimented her on her efforts and told her to relax.
She enrolled at BCCC under the military’s Post-9/11 GI Bill, which pays all her tuition and books and provides a monthly stipend. Having spent an entire year fulfilling her prerequisites, she now occupies one of 30 seats in the BCCC Dental Hygiene Program. As she progresses toward her ultimate goal, a doctoral degree in dentistry, she considers the training she has received at BCCC “time well spent.”