Flint Hills Graduate Was So Good, Dentist Created New Position to Bring Her In

Ana Rivera Calva wasn’t sure what to do in her life.

“I wanted to experience something different. I did go to college for about a year. And it was just something I was not interested in, so I decided to do dental.”

She completed the dental program at the Flint hills Job Corps Center in Manhattan, Kansas.

“I feel like it’s an open option for anybody but it’s definitely something that; Job Corps is what you make of it.”

Ana got a lot from her Job Corps experience. Besides graduating from the dental assistant program, she also received four extra certifications related to the dental and medical fields.

And Ana was very popular with her fellow students and fellow workers at Tooth Story Dental, where she did her work-based training. When that internship ended—she was sorely missed.

“Well, there was about a two to three week window,” says Ty McClellan, owner of Tooth Story Dental, “where we didn’t have Ana. And as the owners, we noticed a difference. We missed Ana. Then the staff started coming to us both independently and as a group and said, ‘We want her back.’ And they all said, ‘Can we hire her.’ And I said, well we basically don’t have a position open but, when your staff kind of twists your arm to make a position become available…”

You do. And they did. Ana was immediately hired.

“And it’s been a great decision,” adds co-owner Dr. Emilie McClellan. “She’s been a tremendous asset to our practice, to our patients, to the staff. We can’t say enough good things about what she has done for us. She’s truly a blessing for us.”

So, once again we see that Job Corps works.

“But the great thing about Flint Hills Job Corps,” says Ty, “is when the staff gets to the field, in these real world working environments, real patients; in this case dental assisting. Working with real patients, real staff, real doctors, real environment, so that whatever steps they take after they graduate they have some sound and significant work experience to complement what they learned in the classroom. And, they’re so much better prepared to land that first job, no matter where they go.”

Dr. McClellan says it’s extremely rewarding to watch the young Job Corps students grow in their new careers.

“I think it’s so much fun to watch the students blossom as they come in and don’t know anybody, and they’re unsure of what this experience is going to be like. And then you watch them become amazing people. I get emotional thinking about that because it so fun to watch these, well in our case all these beautiful young ladies who have come in and become who they are.”