My Humble Beginnings 🙂
My name is Iliana Ayala and I am a recent West Coast University, Dental Hygiene
graduate. 👩🏻🎓 I am a proud Salvadorian woman born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My parents are extremely humble and hardworking individuals that immigrated to the states in their early 20’s. 👨👩👧 As a child, being a college graduate was unrealistic due to the fact that my parents did not possess the knowledge to assist me in obtaining a college education. 🙃 Despite the fact that my parents could not provide guidance, they did however always encourage me to continue my education. 🎓
Struggles Of A Teen Mother/Student 🤰🏻
I enrolled in community college directly out of high school attempting to obtain my prerequisites to apply for a Dental Hygiene program. I only attended a year before I had to drop out because I became pregnant. 🤰🏻 I became a mother at the tender age of 19 which resulted in a shift in my circumstances. Becoming a teen mother placed being a college graduate that much more out of my reach. 😞
I however, was not willing to let my circumstances be a barrier for a brighter future.⭐️ Instead, it was my circumstances that motivated me to succeed in life. I was aware that as a young mother, it was me who my child looked to as a model of success. 🤓 It was because of that I had the determination to never give up on my dream or myself.
Striving For My Dreams ⭐️
I re-enrolled in community college in 2013, juggling being a mother, part time student and working full time as a dental assistant. 🤓 In 2016, I graduated from LAVC with an Associates in Arts in General Education and Behavioral Science. I was encouraged for many years as a young woman to pursue my dream of becoming a Dental Hygienist by my very own hygienist who saw my potential.
I then applied to Dental Hygiene school in 2017, entering upon this journey in 2018. Dental hygiene school was definitely not easy, nor was it fun all the time but it was undeniably worth the fight. 😭 There were many days I went without seeing my daughter, but it was time that was invested into my education and our future. I spent endless amounts of hours studying and doing homework every single day of the program, down time was rare but precious when I came by it. 😞 While my journey was long, time passed by quickly.
My growth as a clinician and as a professional was rampant, making every day essential to my growth. After a long journey and many derails, 10 years of working diligently to get to this point, in August of 2019 I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Dental Hygiene. 😊
Achievement Unlocked! 🎉
It is not only an honor but a privilege as a young hispanic woman to represent the small percentage of hispanic individuals in this field. 🎉 It is not only a dream come true but it is now my reality. I want to be blunt about my journey while uplifting others. I want to encourage everyone who has come from humble beginnings, every young mother, every woman and all children of immigrant parents to look beyond what your life might be at the moment and to what your life can be. 🤗
☝️ No one’s life is determined by what they are born into or what circumstances arise but by the determination and hard work you are willing to invest. ✅
Advice For Other Students ⚠️
Anything in life is possible, everything is at your reach, there is no limit that life can set for you. ✔️ While everyone’s circumstances are different, everyone’s goals are the same; it is to be great, be financially independent and to touch others in the purest way. 💙
To make a difference in the world you must better yourself to know how to effectively assist others. ✌️ If there is anything you take from my story, I hope it is the power you possess to alter your life to benefit you. Never stop dreaming, never stop working, never stop being great! 🙌