Candace's Open Road

CANDACE BENSON

Interim Dean of Dental Programs
Wayne County Community College District

“The stigma [of going to community college] is there, but for me, I just needed an education. To me, education is what you put into it.”

INTERESTS:

Medicine Education

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Talent Hobbies & Pastimes Perseverance Determination Education Goals

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Being Challenged

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Raised by a single mother—says seeing her work hard and struggle to provide was her main motivator in wanting to succeed.
  • As a toddler, her mother would bring her to some of her college classes—says she developed a strong sense that “going to school and getting an education was a must.”
  • Attended Western Michigan University for a semester, but was forced to drop out due to lack of financial aid.
  • Instead, she decided to attend Wayne County Community College (WCCC)—completed all of her prerequisite classes in a year as opposed to the typical two years.
  • Ended up switching her major from accounting to dental hygiene and was enrolled in the program alongside her mother—they eventually graduated from the program together.
  • After working as a dental hygienist for a few years, she was asked to start teaching for the dental hygiene program at WCCC—wanted to help other students succeed just as she did.
  • Went on to receive her bachelor's and master's degrees in dental hygiene—she is also a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
  • Currently serving as the interim dean of dental programs for Wayne County Community College District in Detroit, MI.

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