Veteran and NMC Student Rachel Turner Knows You Care

Dental Assistant student Rachel TurnerDental Assistant student Rachel Turner (NMC '18)“I was looking through the database, seeing if I was eligible for any scholarships, and then I saw it—a scholarship for single moms,” says NMC student and Air Force veteran Rachel Turner (NMC ’18). “That’s the moment I realized people cared.”

Thanks to your generous support, Rachel received multiple scholarship awards, including the Molly Jean Spenceley Memorial Scholarship award that preferences single parents. She’s also been awarded the Art & Mary Schmuckal Endowment Scholarship and the Health Occupations Area Merit Scholarship.

“If I didn’t receive scholarships, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” says Rachel. “I wouldn’t be able to raise my daughter, attend class, do my assignments, and work.”

In August, Rachel will receive her Associate in Applied Science degree through NMC’s Dental Assistant Program. “It’s a long time coming,” says Rachel. “And it’s because of NMC.”

Rachel attended a few different community colleges around the country, both before and after her service in the Air Force, but she found it too financially challenging to finish a degree. The first time she attended school, in Colorado where she grew up, paying tuition completely drained her bank account — despite the fact that she was working more than forty hours per week and living with her parents. No college she previously attended had encouraged her to apply for scholarships.

Thanks to you, things were different at NMC. “My instructors really encouraged us to apply for scholarships,” says Rachel. “The process was simple. Seeing the scholarship database made me realize that people out there care and want me to succeed.”

Rachel also attributes her success to the support she received as a military veteran. She says Scott Herzberg, NMC’s Point of Contact, Military and Veterans Services, has been extremely helpful at every point during her time at NMC. Rachel met a supportive community by spending time in NMC’s veterans lounge. Currently, NMC is ranked third in the nation among community colleges for its service to veterans!

Because of your support, Rachel is succeeding. She’s on her way to earning her degree and realizing her life’s passion—helping those in need get dental care.

“My long term goal is to work for a dental practice that does outreach to veterans and people experiencing homelessness. Eventually, I’d like to do two or three mission trips a year to countries where people need dental care,” says Rachel.

“This is what I’m called to do,” Rachel explains. Thanks to you, she’s on her way to earning her degree and helping those in need.