Class of 2019 Alumni Spotlight
A Powerful Driving Force
– Posted Fall 2022
Although most people find their career paths later in life, there are a few who, from an early age, have an experience that speaks to them in such a way they can’t ignore it. Learn how the adage: “follow your heart, it knows the way” takes on new meaning for one of our alumni, Lindsey Testa (Dental Assisting, Class of 2019), and how a childhood event inspired her to harness a powerful driving force within and shape her future career success.
When Lindsey was in the 5th grade, she got braces, and unlike most kids, she liked everything about the experience.
“I was in my braces for about four years,” said Lindsey. “I loved my orthodontist, Dr. Hamilton, and the orthodontic assistants at Family Orthodontics in Milford. I looked up to them and dreamed of working in orthodontics. So when I learned about the Dental Assisting program at BVT, I was eager to attend the school and one day pursue a career in the dental field.”
With an interest in the dental field, it came as no surprise during Freshmen Exploratory that Dental Assisting was Lindsey’s top choice. She also explored Business & Entrepreneurship, Culinary Arts, Electrical, Electronics & Engineering Technology, Health Services, and HVAC&R. “I had such a great time during the HVAC&R exploratory. I considered changing my mind to HVAC for a little while! ”exclaimed Lindsey. “But after I explored the Dental Assisting shop, I knew there was no other program I would enjoy as much as that one.”
Utilizing the skills acquired at BVT, Lindsey coincidentally earned a co-op job with Family Orthodontics in Milford during her senior year. “It was a dream come true. This was the office I had always dreamed of working in!” said Lindsey. “I learned so much about orthodontics, sterilization, talking with and caring for patients.”
“After working in orthodontics, I realized I was more interested in general dentistry,” said Lindsey. “The dental assistant is most frequently the first person a patient will see, so it is important in that position to learn how to talk to patients in a caring manner. You truly only learn by working in an office and experiencing it for yourself. I also found it to be a fun experience.”
However, when it came time to apply to college, Lindsey wasn’t sure if she wanted to become a dentist or a dental hygienist. But, she knew she would need further education to achieve those goals. “I talked it over with my parents, and I decided to pursue a degree in Dental Hygiene at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS),” said Lindsey. “I fell in love with the clinic at MCPHS and the technology they had for their students.”
“While in college, I worked as a dental assistant at Uxbridge Family Dental in Uxbridge, MA, and the Milford Dentist Office in Milford, MA. It was a busy schedule at both offices, and it taught me how to be timely and efficient,” said Lindsey. “Assisting a dentist consists of taking a lot of radiographs and passing instruments to the dentist. I can thank my vocational instructors for teaching me how to do that effectively.”
“My vocational-technical training at BVT prepared me for success in hygiene school at MCPHS,” said Lindsey. “We spent about a month learning the names of teeth, the positions of teeth, the anatomical features of the teeth, and much more basic terminology crammed into such little time. But I already knew this, which helped a lot. When we began patient care, I felt more prepared than some of my peers because of my history of working with patients as a dental assistant. If I had never attended a vocational high school, I can easily say that I would not be where I am today.”
“I was asked by professors at MCPHS to be a peer tutor for clinical and academic courses,” explained Lindsey. “I excelled in many of my courses because of my previous knowledge in dental assisting, and I can thank BVT for that.”
“During my last semester at MCPHS, I had a capstone project, which required that I teach to those with dental hygiene-related needs,” explained Lindsey. “I immediately thought about visiting my alma mater’s Dental Assisting program to educate students on topics important to dental assistants and dental hygienists. I am thankful to my Dental Assisting instructors, Mrs. Fleisher, Mrs. Donovan, and Mrs. Langin, who pushed me when I was at BVT and welcomed me to work with them and their students for this project.”
“The dental students were welcoming, eager to learn, and engaged in our group discussions. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed teaching. I taught dance classes at the Milford Dance Center during high school. This experience reminded me that teaching might be in my future. The vocational instructors worked with me in planning our discussion topics and scheduling time for clinical to teach those hands-on topics to their students,” said Lindsey. “It opened my eyes to the real possibility of teaching dental assisting at a vocational high school.”
Lindsey graduated in May of 2022 from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Having earned a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene in three years instead of four, she was eligible to take regional and national dental hygiene board examinations.
“Looking back at how much I have learned truly amazes me. I never thought I would end up back at BVT, especially in front of a group of students teaching. I could not be happier that my path in life went this way,” said Lindsey. “I have a full-time position as a dental hygienist at the Milford Dentist Office. I plan on working clinically for a few years while working towards a degree in vocational education. This experience has made me realize that even though I have reached my goal of becoming a dental hygienist, my journey is not over. The options are endless to where I go from here.”
“If you are considering a career in the dental industry, there are many career paths in this growing field,” said Lindsey. She smiled and shared this advice, “Never doubt yourself, don’t quit, or compare yourself to others; everyone’s path is different. It doesn’t matter how you get to the end of the path; what matters is that you get there!”
The Ferreira Family
– Posted Fall 2019
Father + Mother + Daughter = BVT Pride
Lindsey Ferreira of Sutton (Multimedia Communications, Class of 2019) included this quote in her yearbook, “The past doesn’t define who you are, it just gives you the starting point of who you’re going to be.” BVT is a big part of her parent’s history, which is why Lindsey decided to follow in their footsteps and apply to BVT.
Graduates of the Class of 1993, Lindsey’s parents David Ferreira of Milford (Plumbing) and Danielle Vanderlinden of Sutton (Information Processing) met as students and married in 1997. They currently reside in Sutton where they are busy raising their family.
David, employed by Waters Corporation in Milford for 23 years, is a Senior Material Technician. He returned to BVT in the late ‘90s to assist with junior varsity baseball.
Danielle is the Director of Plan Implementation at Wilson Language Training in Oxford. She furthered her education at Nichols College in Dudley with a Bachelor’s degree and dual major in Accounting and Information Processing, and also completed a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership in 2016.
As a senior, Lindsey excelled as a setter captain on the varsity volleyball team under coach Brian Lehtinen. This summer she shared her skills by returning to campus to help coach the volleyball clinic. Come this fall, her parents will proudly send her off to Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston where she’s looking forward to fine-tuning her animation talent and pursuing her passion for art.
From one generation to the next, BVT has given this family a firm foundation, but for Lindsey, this is her starting point. Best of luck to Lindsey and all of our 2019 graduates.
Once a Beaver, always a Beaver!