Registered Dental Hygienist
Michelle Gagnon resides in Sudbury, ON and is a member of Dokis First Nation. She obtained her Ontario Secondary School Diploma from Ecole Secondaire Catholique l'Heritage, in 2000. She enrolled in the Dental Hygiene program in 2004 at College Boreal. She graduated and obtained her diploma from the program in June 2006. She then had to write the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board exam and successfully obtained her certification in January 2007.
Michelle is currently employed as a Registered Dental Hygienist with Dr. Stephen Vass. Michelle gets to teach others about their health/oral health and how it affects the whole body, gets to meet new people and maintains professional relationships with regular patients. They can see signs of cancer, smoking, diabetes etc. just by looking in someone's mouth. Continuing education is mandatory as you need to keep up on all the new fads of the dentistry world as it is always changing - new products, new procedures, the dimensions of oral care is immense.
In August 2005, Gezhtoojig provided funding for Michelle for a Purchase of Training for the second/final year of the Dental Hygienist program at College Boreal. The Purchase of Training program assists individuals to overcome existing labour market barriers by arranging a variety of training courses with qualified trainers. The individual may qualify for tuition, books, living allowance, dependent care and transportation for programs that are up to 52 weeks/one year in length.
Michelle noted that there were challenges/struggles along the way. She encountered financial obstacles in her first year and during the training she had to find time to do homework, projects and the motivation to complete these tasks. She was required to maintain a 70% average in every course. At the same time she had a two year old daughter and was expecting her second, planning a wedding and purchasing a home. She states that what got her through it was "If there's a will, there's a way" She also stated that "Whatever interests you, catches your attention, when you decide what field you would like to pursue, go for it! If you set your mind to it, your dreams can be attained. There will be rough times, there will be obstacles, work around them, don't let them discourage you. You will be glad you stuck with it, and can make your life-long dream a living reality!" Michelle recommends that if you need help, then seek the help you need because the teachers are there to help and guide you.