STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOANNA ZARAGOZA

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Joanna Zaragoza, second from left, is welcomed on her first day back to the Dental Assisting program at Carrington College in Stockton.

Joanna Zaragoza was all smiles when she entered the classroom to start one of the six-week courses in the Dental Assisting program at Carrington College’s Stockton campus. When she saw the room full of students and faculty greeting her with smiles, the tears started flowing.

Seven months earlier, Joanna was involved in a horrific car accident that caused severe swelling to her brain. She had to have two surgeries and was forced to drop out of school.

During her recovery, Joanna had to overcome a series of physical challenges, including months of home rest, sleeping only on her right side and wearing a helmet every time she left the house.

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Joanna Zaragoza, left, is comforted by Dental Assisting Program Director, Donna Bega, after being overcome with emotion.

Joanna was known as a friendly student within the Dental Assisting program. She was a hard worker and someone who never missed a day of class, so when she didn’t show up one Monday morning, students and instructors knew something was wrong.

Joanna’s sister and cousin were both enrolled in the Medical Assisting program at the time. They let her fellow classmates know what had happened. Students and
staff took the news hard, but through it all, friends and teachers made several trips to visit Joanna in the hospital and at home, lending their support and sending her well wishes.

Becoming a Dental Assistant was something Joanna wanted to do since high school, and her determination to finish the program is a testament to strength and dedication. Carrington is proud of Joanna and looks forward to her graduation day!

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