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DDS Applicant, Arab-American, Spanish

March 28, 2016


I feel that I am a competitive applicant for dental school because I am not only a good student and a very hard worker, but because I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles growing up, helping to make me both humble and resilient; and to very much appreciate diversity and the great struggle that is generally required for immigrants to succeed in America. While my parents and I are US citizens, much of our family has remained back in Yemen and 12 of my formative years growing up were spent in Yemen.

As an Arab-American, however, it is my sincere hope that you will look upon my application with special favor as a result of the fact that I am also fluent in Spanish, which I made a point to learn growing up in Latino-dominated Lamont, California. I was motivated from early on to work extremely hard at achieving fluency in Spanish because I understood that it would be useful at a later stage, helping our underserved here in California as a dentist

I now hold a BS degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. Some applicants will undoubtedly have higher grades and exam scores, but because of spending many of my formative years in Yemen, English was for me a second language. And in addition to my ESL situation, I have worked at and later managed the family business here in Lamont, California, a market, since I can remember. I have grown up with and very much love the mostly Latino population of Lamont, and I have done all that I could so far, as opportunity arises, to help my community by fundraising for those that are in-need, for funeral services, the uninsured with serious illnesses, etc. I have always been very good at both science and working with my hands. Since I was a little child, I was the person in the house that my family depended on as the handy man—fixing everything broken—from house repairs to the car. I particularly good at using tools, drills, wrenches, and drawing is my pass time.

I am very happy that I was educated much of the time during my school age years in Yemen. It was difficult since I went to the village school where the students had neither desks nor chairs—all of us sitting in the dirt. Much worse still, I used to be scared of going to school because many teachers were violent and would hit students with sticks. Even during tests, if you did not answer the questions the way the teacher said it, word for word, you would get hit. Nevertheless, I am pleased to have extensive experience in the Developing World and I also hope that learning to write as well as speak Arabic will be helpful at some point in my future. Furthermore, I met my wonderful wife in the village school in Yemen, having known each other since we were children. I remember thinking, as a child, that I would grow up and marry her someday. We now have 3 beautiful children; a 10 year old daughter and two younger boys. She has been always there for me and has been very supportive of my efforts to prepare for dental school admission. She is also prepared to make the necessary sacrifices so that I have the time and energy to excel in your competitive program.

Now 31, I have spent a total of 12 years in Yemen and 19 in the USA, growing up as well in Lamont, California, which I consider my permanent home. I am especially pleased that we made Lamont our home, because the population is more than 95% Latino, with most residents fairly recent arrivals, many farm workers and their families, most of them undocumented and underserved, with dental care seen as a luxury which few can afford. Since the most important aspect of my long term career goal in dentistry is to help the underserved who are in need of oral health care, Lamont, CA will be the perfect place to establish my practice.

My volunteer work is another important factor since I volunteered at KMC hospital for 1 year as a Research Assistant. We enrolled patients for research and surveys in the emergency room and provided them with helpful health tips and preventive strategies. We contributed to research in several areas including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Elbow Study, Stomach pain, etc.

Most recently, my passion for becoming a dentist was profoundly reinforced very close to home when my daughter’s adult teeth began to come in at twisted angles. With just a few months wearing braces, her teeth are already almost perfectly straight. needed dental care. I have really thrived, in particular, sharing my daughter’s happiness and her comfortable smile in front of others.

I have been shadowing Dr. XXXX, a dentist in Bakersfield, who has been kind enough to share a great deal with me and has taught me and has already taught me a great deal about dentistry. I have watched him perform root canals, crowns, fillings, cleanings, etc. I also have also closely observed how they clean and sanitize their equipment for the next usage.

My goal is to become a great dentist and help those in need with dental problems within my community, XXXX, California with special attention to the marginalized, particularly migrant laborers and their families. I sincerely thank you for considering my application to your program.

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