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2nd Career, 2nd time Wolverine! A DH story begins

January 28, 2011

About 15 years ago I was proud to graduate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Believe me; both the hard work and the choice of institution were worth it. Having U of M on my resume has definitely helped over the years not only as an entry level engineer but also when I applied for new positions as I advanced my career. Unfortunately, the recession eventually caught up with me and, a little over a year ago, I found myself laid off for the second time with little desire to return a position which would require me to do the job of two people while wondering how long I would be able to hang on until the next layoff. I finally decided to clear my head of any expectations of where my career was supposed to head and take an “If I could do it all over…” approach. The resulting research led me to Dental Hygiene and, furthermore, back to the University of Michigan, only this time in Ann Arbor.

I have to admit it’s sad that, as a native Detroiter, I have spent very little time in Ann Arbor throughout my life. As a student at U of M-Dearborn, I attended a measly 2 football games here. Before that, I can only remember my aunt bringing my sister and me here for an art fair when we were kids. I’m not sure exactly what year that was, but I distinctly recall that Snoopy was “Joe Cool” at the time and I was wearing something made of polyester. So, my first favorite moment as a DH2 would have to be the tour we received during orientation. I am a huge fan of old college towns and, let’s face it, Ann Arbor is the best when it comes to all that young energy pulsing amidst old architecture.  I was even honored to walk barefoot through the fountain, though I still want to bleach my feet every time I think about it.

That shining moment has been followed by many others. I celebrated my 41st birthday during the second week of the fall semester and was greeted by my new classmates with homemade brownies! Soon after, I was nominated and elected Class President.  In October, I was able to attend the Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association House of Delegates at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids, MI. Several times I have awoken from bad dreams with the great relief of knowing that my teeth really aren’t falling out or full of cavities.

I would have to say, however, that my overall favorite moment as a DH2 occurs on a daily basis when I come to school and learn so many new things academically and about my diverse group of peers. It’s been wonderful to get to know such each individual person and we become more and more like a family as time progresses. It’s evident we will celebrate some great accomplishments over time and also have each other’s backs during the rough patches. I am making lifelong friends here and I am proud not only to belong to the University of Michigan once again as a part of this program but also to be a member of this class.

Jeannette Young is a seasoned Automotive Engineer who has started a new chapter in her life by entering the Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene program at the University of Michigan. She is also the adoring wife of the most wonderful man in the world and proud mother of a United States Air Force Hydraulics Technician.

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