“Santa Rosa JC Dental Hygiene Program is one of the best in nation. You tell anybody that you went to SRJC, and they know that it is a great school!”
An accomplished makeup artist who worked in the movie and fashion industries in Los Angeles, Novato native Amanda Banfield decided that she wanted a more fulfilling career, and returned home to attend Santa Rosa Junior College and train as a dental hygienist.
Amanda already had an Associate’s degree in behavioral sciences, obtained at SRJC Petaluma before her move to Southern California for her makeup career. In Los Angeles, Amanda worked as a makeup artist for movies, fashion shows, photo shoots and commercials — yet she ended up not loving the limelight, and returned to her roots in search of a better purpose. “I knew in my heart that I wanted a career that helped people,” she wrote in a personal essay for a scholarship application.
Amanda applied to the Dental Hygiene program at SRJC and, to her delight, got in on the very first try. She recalls strenuous yet enjoyable study years at the JC, and learning from the best: “The faculty at the JC is amazing, they want you to succeed, and they bend over backwards to help you.” One of the most touching experiences during her studies was when she spent two weeks in a health sciences transcultural course in Mexico, cleaning the teeth of children in orphanages and in a migrant camp. The experience confirmed her belief that she picked a career where she would truly be of service. As she said, “we have no idea how lucky we are here, in the US; our health care system here is amazing. In Mexico, we’ve seen kids whose teeth were rotting out of their heads and they were so grateful for what we did to clean their teeth, and patiently the treatment, even without anesthesia.”
In the month after graduating, Amanda obtained her dental hygienist license and—despite concerns that the job market in her field might be saturated—she found a part-time position right away. Not long after that, she was offered full-time employment in the Petaluma office of B. Hudson Graham, D.D.S., where she now works. Her education paid off and she is proud to say she is a graduate of our College: “Santa Rosa JC Dental Hygiene Program is one of the best in nation. You tell anybody that you went to SRJC, and they know that it is a great school!”