Program Director, San Antonio - San PedroPeggy


“I graduated from here as a dental assistant and worked out in the field at a private practice for about four years, and went on to work at the UT Health Center at the dental school. I was there for 11 years, went back to school, and decided that I wanted to teach dental assisting. I’ve been teaching for around 20 years, and I’ve been the Dental Assistant program chair for about 10. So I’ve been with the company about 25 years!

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Now that I’m a program chair, I still teach every now and then, and I help manage the dental clinic that we have. It’s a great program because during their last module, students actually get into the clinic and work with the doctors before their externships. So they get firsthand experience and work through all the jitters before they actually do their externships. And actually, right now, we are the only school that offers a dental clinic in our live program.

I love working with the students. I love seeing them successful. It’s my passion. And it’s so great to see them start and finish and get hired. Every day, as many days as I’ve been here, I don’t regret walking through those doors. I love what I do. I love walking in and meeting students and greeting them, working with them one-on-one, helping them work through those obstacles that they sometimes face.

“Success is being able to accomplish your dreams and your goals, and striving for that goal.”

Sometimes they just can’t see outside the box, and we just need to be there to help them with that. I have many students that stand out, but one in particular was a young lady who was pregnant. She had two children, was a single mom, working two jobs while coming to school, and she had lost her transportation. Every day she’d come into my office and cry and say that she couldn’t do this anymore. I would just remind her, ‘Yes you can. Here are some other resources. This is just a stumbling block, you’re going to get through this.’ And, sure enough, she walked the stage. I still get emotional when I see her. Especially when I saw her walk the stage. She was so excited.

We just tell them we’re accountable to them every day. We’re not like traditional colleges where if you come to class, great, and if you don’t, oh, well. We care about you, we want to make sure that you’re successful. We want to see you out there. We want to see you get that job. And when you’ve done that, then we feel like we’ve done our job.

And we tell them from the very beginning, we’re going to call you if you don’t call us and let us know that you’re not going to be here, because we’re accountable to each one of you. We want to see you be successful. You’re investing your time, your money. We want to make sure you can get out of here, get a job, and you’re successful, and you have all of the tools to get through this.

The toughest part of my job is when you have students that just can’t see the end result. And they’re just stuck in that area, where they just can’t see it, and nothing you say or do is going to make them see that. It’s difficult, and it’s challenging, but it’s sad. Because you know that at some point, they are going to say, ‘I should have finished. I should have done this.’

Sometimes you have those students that, three to four years down the line, they come back.

I am proud of the success of our program and the team that we’ve grown together. Most of my instructors have been here for 15 years plus. We have a great team and, I think, just seeing the success of our program, and seeing how it has grown and developed throughout the years, is really, really rewarding.

“I tell my students that I am a living testimony of what you can do with your success as a dental assistant.”

My family is really proud of me and the accomplishments I’ve made throughout my career. They were like, ‘Wow, Mom. I didn’t know that at a small vocational school could grow so much, that you could touch so many lives.’ So they’ve really supported me, and they’re there for me. My older daughter came here, also. She came through the Dental Assistant program.

Success is being able to accomplish your dreams and your goals, and striving for that goal. At the end, knowing there is a bright future or outcome. If you continue to pursue that goal and that dream, you will be successful. And Brightwood has given that to many students. It has done that for me. I tell my students that I am a living testimony of what you can do with your success as a dental assistant. And there are so many avenues that you haven’t experienced, yet. Dental assisting is here to stay. For the next 10 years, it is one of the biggest career opportunities that is going to continue to grow. And San Antonio is huge. In two weeks, I received 12 calls from different doctors looking for dental assistants. So the jobs are out there. It’s just what you want to do with it — the sky’s the limit. You just have to start. That’s the hardest part. But once they get here, and they get into the classroom and they start to talk to the instructor, and they start to feel comfortable, it makes it much easier for them.

I once had a student say, ‘I’ve never had anyone give me a high-five or tell me I’m doing good.’ It’s heartbreaking. I had one student tell me one time, ‘Thank you for giving me a hug. I haven’t had a hug for three years since my mom died.’ Those are the things that we see that our students need. That’s why I love my job.”

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Olga, San Antonio - San Pedro“I was putting my passion on the backburner and trying to please everybody else.”

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Are you a Brightwood College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“I chose the medical field because I want to be able to help people. You have to have a good heart and a lot of patience to work in this field.”

Monica, CharlotteStudent

“My daughter motivates me every single day. I want the best future for her. I want to show her anything is possible and to go after your goals.”

Jazmine, Fort Worth Student

“I enjoy watching students evolve and become responsible, hard-working individuals.”

Kendra, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“My parents are both immigrants. Being the first in my family to go to college has made my parents proud.”

Leonor, Vista Student

“I needed to do something hands-on and slightly behind the scenes. So I chose pharmacy technician. The job I am doing is a perfect fit for me.”

Bright, San Antonio - San Pedro Graduate

“I endeavor to remind students that life will happen with or without your personal satisfaction. Do something worthwhile. Do something you love.”

Terra, Fort Worth Dean

“I am motivated by my students who are enrolled to make a better life for themselves and their families. It motivates me watching them overcome many life obstacles and cross that finish line and graduate. The strength of my students is amazing!”

Marianne, Fort Worth Staff Member

“If I can’t be in the Marine Corps anymore and protecting my country, I might as well be protecting people from something else — bad teeth!”

Audrey, Vista Student

“No matter what difficulties you face in life there is always hope. Tomorrow is another day with new opportunities. Love life, love people, love yourself. You are worth it.”

Amber, Modesto Student

“My children are my world, and I want them to see their mom as a successful person.”

Guadalupe, Modesto Student

“My kids and my grandkids motivate me. I want them to be able to know, no matter your age or situation, never give up on your dreams.”

Yvonne, Dayton Student

“As a first-generation American, first-generation college graduate, and having been a young parent, I am motivated to help my students, many of whom share a similar life experience.”

Alex, Chula Vista Campus President

“My children motivate me. Their father died when they were 7 and 11. Now I must provide a life for them on my own.”

Rachel, Dayton Graduate

“I help students take the leap every day. The difference is that I refuse to let them fall. I believe in their success!”

Latanya, CharlotteAdmissions Representative

“The proudest moment of my life was when I had my first interview and they offered me the job. I am happy with the place, and I love my job!”

Mariana, Charlotte Graduate

“I proved to myself that obstacles do come your way, but when you have your mind set on what you want you will achieve it. I’m now a dental assistant!”

Paula, Corpus Christi Graduate

“No matter what may ever happen to you in life, you can pull yourself out.”

Brittany, NashvilleStudent

“I get to help students take that next step and push themselves to be more than they thought they could.”

Joe, El Paso Career Development Specialist

“I loved my careeer in healthcare. Now I love passing on the knowledge and real-world experiences to my students.”

Margie, Fort Worth Instructor

“No matter how hard my circumstances were, I never gave up.”

Taviona, Riverside Graduate

“I make it my mission to create a campus culture of family and a sense of belonging. We know our students' names, we know their stories, we know what makes them smile. We listen to our students, and we recognize them for changing their life and making it happen!”

Shaheen, Fort Worth Staff Member

“Having three small children hasn't always been easy, but striving to make sure they are secure is what drives me.”

Audreyona, IndianapolisStudent

“You have to believe in yourself and believe that you are worth it every step of the way.”

Stephanie, Fort WorthInstructor

“I realized that college parties, the traditional classroom setting, and being far from home was not for me. I knew I wanted to continue with a career path that would help people and benefit society.”

Natalie, Indianapolis Student

“My motivation comes from seeing my students succeed.”

Pamela, HammondSenior Admissions Representative

“I chose the Medical Assistant program because I love to help people move forward.”

Rosetta, Fort Worth Student

“I always wanted to go back to school but it seemed impossible working full-time and taking care of four children. My kids are the reason I chose this field. They have a lot of problems with their teeth, and after so many treatments, I found out this career is very interesting.”

Mirla, Indianapolis Student

“Students motivate me every day. A chance to speak to them and show them that they do have a chance is extremely rewarding to me.”

Elizabeth, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“I have worked in Career Development for over five years and still have the same passion for helping our students as I did on day one. Improving the outlook of someone's life motivates me.”

Athenai, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I was afraid because I have been out of school for a very long time and was doubting myself, but I knew I needed to go back to school.”

Kimberly, Indianapolis Student

“My proudest moment was the first day I walked into class and found my place in life.”

Catherine, Fort Worth Student

“Technology has always interested me, as well as taking things apart and putting them back together.”

Cory, El Paso Instructor

“I came to the United States searching for a future with my husband and two little boys. I wasn't sure how I was going to speak another language or where to start seaching for a job. I learned the language and got more confident about myself, but I felt like I was incomplete. I needed a career.”

Leslie, Laredo Graduate

“I have always been in love with the dental field.”

Tyshawna, Indianapolis Student

“I know what it’s like to lose everything then work hard to make a good life for myself and my children. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s not who you are, it’s who you can become.”

Melody Ann, Hammond Student Finance Supervisor

“How can I make a difference today? That’s my daily question. Coming from circumstances that shaped me into who I am today, I want to give back in a way most of us truly need.”

Kimberly, Fort WorthCareer Development Specialist

“Always follow your dreams even if it seems as if you could never accomplish them. Nothing is impossible!”

Gisselle, Las Vegas Student

“It has taken me three tries and three different schools to find a place that I enjoy and a career field I love.”

Anna, Friendswood Student