Kasandra Rodriguez is Helping Give New Smiles to People Thanks to Job Corps
Kasandra Rodriguez has a beautiful smile, but it wasn’t always that way.
“I was a little kid,” says Kasandra, “and the doctor, she told me, ‘Oh, you’re a beautiful little girl, but you’re smile, you know, you need to [get braces one day]. She said, ‘When you grow up, save your money and come to me so I can give you braces.’”
She did just that. But her braces gave her more than a new look. To Kasandra, the orthodontist’s office was like Disneyland.
“It intrigued me. Everything, like the tools what they were going to work on, the impressions. And that’s what made me want to go to Los Angeles Job Corps to become a dental assistant.”
That’s right…Los Angeles Job Corps. After completing an intense dental assistant program, she began looking for a job in LA.
“And I called every single office. And every office told me, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. We already have dental assistants or people doing their externship hours.’ So, when I called this office, I was so excited.”
NoHo Dental Group hired Kasandra as an intern.
“After she worked for us an intern for a while, I saw an amazing amount of dedication and potential.”
Doctor Bijan Afar decided to bring her on as an employee.
“I didn’t want to show my excitement. But I was so excited.”
Doctor Afar could see Los Angeles Job Corps fully prepared young people for the job market.
“Just the amount of training they have given these kids, it’s fantastic. It’s money well spent.”
“Growing up I wasn’t really confident about myself—but once I got to Job Corps, I changed, my whole demeanor changed. I was this whole different person than I am today.”
Today, Kasandra is confident, successful, and ready to help patients in Los Angeles smile a little bigger.
“Everybody wants that Hollywood smile, that celebrity smile. Everyone who walks out of here wants that nice smile, shinny, white teeth.”