Dental Hygiene Graduate Uses “God-Given Talents’ to Help Her Community

Neysha Medina (Constitution High School, Philadelphia) graduates from Manor College with her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene.

Neysha Medina

Neysha Medina giggles when she tells people about working with her Dad. To be fair, Medina admits she laughs quite a bit, but when it comes to handiwork, it’s a laugh that comes with pride. 

Medina helped do electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work with her father for years. She proudly boasts about using a wet saw to cut porcelain tile. She cherishes the focus on the last details that bring beauty to the project. 

“It’s those last details where you’re finally seeing the end product,” Medina said. 

That level of fine detail needed to finish off a project partially inspired Medina to become a Dental Hygienist. 

“When you have a patient who has a mountain of plaque and you bring them back to a good state of health, that’s when you see the transition,” Medina said. “You’re able to give them some confidence in their smile again.” 

Medina graduates from Manor College in May with her Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene. Additionally, she’ll be delivering the Commencement speech representing all who earned their Associate Degree in the 2024 class. 

“It feels surreal to be graduating,” Medina said. “I’ve been wanting it so bad. I want to go out and hit the clinics.”

Dental Hygiene is among the most rigorous programs at Manor College. It’s a small window of students can make it – 14 chosen from more than 100 applicants. Once in, the hard work begins with classes. Students complete their clinical work in Manor College’s Dental Health Center. This includes working with certain types of patients and completing competencies. 

Neysha Medina prepares to give a dental check up.

Despite the program’s challenges, Medina never saw giving up as an option. 

“There’s a reason why God has led me to where I am, so I didn’t want to say, ‘Well, this is tough. I’m bailing,’” Medina said. “If I’m getting out of this program, I’m getting dragged out by my nails.” 

With her degree completed, Medina will tackle the required registered dental hygienist exams. She hopes to use her degree to get involved in public health. She worked alongside clinic instructor Dr. Michele Gladstone at a volunteer clinic called Mom n’ Pa. She uses her skills in what she calls, “side-hustle evangelism.”

“These people wait in lines for hours during the whole day because they need the service,” Medina said. “It feels gratifying to use my skills. In Christianity, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing – using the gifts that God gave me to help the community.”

Medina came to Manor College because of the Dental Hygiene program. It wasn’t long before she fell in love with the institution. 

“It was either Manor or nowhere for me,” Medina said. “My first interactions were with (Director of Admissions Jessica Zsoldos) and I felt like she represented Manor well. I knew I’d be in a good place if I came here.” 

Medina got involved on campus, too. She played volleyball for the Blue Jays and became part of the outdoor track team. She’s a Presidential Ambassador, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and President of the Student American Dental Hygienist Association. 

Her service, both on campus and off, earned her the 2023 Mother Josaphat Medal. The honor is the highest a student can receive at Manor College.

As her time on campus comes to a close, it’s the friendships Medina’s gained that she’ll miss the most. 

“The connections I made, those in the Dental Hygiene program, that’s blood right there,” Medina said. “We’ve been through it together and we stuck it out. I’m proud of everybody and the hard work.” 

Medina’s advice to students would be that Manor’s “good vibes are contagious” and the institution allows you to become a better person.

“I didn’t like who I was in middle and high school,” Medina said. “I was yucky. I was immature. I didn’t know how to express myself in certain situations. I’ve changed. I’m more comfortable in my own skin. Even if I do something cringy, I own up to it. I love who I’ve become.”

Meet our Graduates

Diego Peralta

Brooke Strassle

Eddie Fortesque

Neysha Medina

Yelyzaveta Mazepa

Wandell Scott

Keith Donofrio

Hailey Ramirez

Tamara Ellerbe

More about the 2024 Commencement

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2024 Commencement Speaker Gregory E. Deavens

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