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My UEI Story – Meet Michelle, a Dental Assistant Graduate from UEI San Marcos

We believe every voice is significant. Each student we help is seen. Each life that walks through our doors…we see you and your remarkableness.  Michelle, a Dental Assistant Graduate at UEI College in San Marcos, shares her story.


Walking into UEI was a big step for me as going to college had always been a huge fear of mine. I didn’t do the best in high school, but I had always wanted to go to college. One day I literally woke up and started looking at programs that only take up to a year to complete and I saw UEI College. To be honest, it took me 3 times to come in and talk to someone about the programs offered, and every time I would go in I would get really excited and nervous at the same time. The Dental Assistant program was the one that stood out the most for me.  

On my first day of school I was so nervous. I thought that I was not smart enough or I would fail and all these negative thoughts came to my head. I almost walked out in fear that I couldn’t do it until I met my other classmates. After talking to all of them I realized I was not the only one feeling this way and from there on out I couldn’t wait to go back every day.

When I went home that first day I felt so proud of myself for overcoming one of my biggest fears.


My favorite thing about UEI would have to be the classrooms and how they are designed so that the teacher is able to focus and give each student the attention they need. Everyone learns differently and for me the UEI San Marcos campus was perfect for me. I also really enjoyed the activities the school put on and showed the students that there is fun that comes along with an education.


I was not dealt the ideal life. My mom and dad divorced when I was about 3 years old and I didn’t get a chance to get to know my dad that well because I lived with my mother.  Living with my mom, we were homeless a lot as she really struggled because she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33 years old. It was just me and her and I had to grow up really fast to help take care of her. At the age of 12 my mother passed away from cancer and she was only 38 years old. She was my best friend and I lost her. Throughout the next few years I lived in different homes with different families until I finally went to Colorado to live with my father that I barely knew. He was a major alcoholic who struggled to take care of himself let alone a young girl who was struggling with the loss of her mom and having been moved all over.

 I struggled for the next couple years started getting into trouble, meeting the wrong people, ran away, got beat up…life was just hell from the age of 12-16 until I met my best friend. My best friend and her family saved my life. If it wasn’t for her I would probably be dead by now. Her family took me in and adopted me and for the next couple years I felt love, acceptance, and disciplined. Everything that I needed. I graduated high school, and was the first one in my family to do so. It was hard and I barely made it, but I did and that’s what matters.  The next couple years I built a relationship with my dad, and we became really close. After going through everything I did, life is too short to hold onto anger and bitterness towards thing you cannot control. My dad suffered from severe alcoholism and he died when I was 27.

After living in my car for 6 months, I am now standing on my own two feet, in my own apartment here in California with the one man I love with all my heart. He has been through thick and thin with me and traveled on this journey to California for a new beginning. So to sum everything up, getting my education at UEI to become a Dental Assistant has been a great experience for me.  I have overcome so much and am so proud of myself and am very excited to start another chapter in my life.

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