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Amber Espinal

CCBC Student, Psychology and Dental Hygiene, '24

Profile photo of Amber Espinal

CCBC in three words: supportive, welcoming and motivational.

Amber Espinal was already familiar with CCBC when she enrolled as a Psychology and Dental Hygiene student in 2021. She participated in the dual enrollment program while in high school and the CCBC Essex location is close to where she and her family live.

Dual enrollment allowed me to jump-start my college career.

Being neighbors with the school and its affordability influenced her decision to come to CCBC. She said, “Another reason why I chose CCBC was because I wasn’t sure of what career I wanted to pursue yet, so choosing CCBC allowed me to explore the many options that they have to offer.” Espinal also received two scholarships—CCBC Cares and College Promise—that helped her attend college without debt.

Espinal chose Dental Hygiene because of her passion for taking care of others. She is gaining the skills to provide quality care to patients and believes her Psychology double major will help her connect with her dental hygiene patients better. “I chose Psychology as my second career because I want to know how to communicate with my patients better and try to understand them as well.”

Her courses began online while she was in high school but have transitioned to more in-person classes as a full-time student at CCBC Essex. In both cases, she has been happy with the convenience and how easy it is to schedule classes while managing time with family and friends.

Support from faculty has also helped her manage the workload without being overwhelmed. “The faculty at CCBC are very supportive and kind when it comes to them trying to offer help. Every time I have encountered a small problem or have a question, the faculty at CCBC have always tried to do their best to help me succeed.”

Espinal is a member of the Honor Club and the Multicultural Association at CCBC. Being involved in these clubs has allowed her to interact with people who share different opinions on certain topics and ideas. “I also think that they have allowed me to make connections with people who are in my field of study.”

She sees these opportunities as ways work on communication skills and build connections with people with similar or different interests and backgrounds. And of all the people she has encountered, she said, “My favorite thing about CCBC is the community and how helpful and kind everyone tries to be.”

Espinal’s professional goal is to complete her associate degree in Dental Hygiene and transfer to a four-year university where she can obtain a bachelor's degree. “I would like to become a dentist in the future and be able to open my own dental office.” She believes that having an associate's degree before transferring can be helpful even if you aren’t ready to go back to school again to complete your bachelor’s degree.

“You can always join the workforce with an associate and still be given better opportunities.” Espinal also recommends community college as a great way to start your educational journey straight out of high school. “It is a great way to test the and experience college courses but at prices that are much better.” She added, “All of the courses you take can go towards completing a bachelor's degree at a four-year college.”

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