Using Motivation from Waitlist, Dental Hygiene Grad Thrives at Manor College

Diego Peralta (Warminster/William Tennant High School) is studying Dental Hygiene at Manor College.

Diego Peralta

For about a year, Diego Peralta left a piece of computer paper taped to the front of his home desk. On the paper was a printed screenshot of an email from Manor College’s Dental Hygiene program. 

It stayed there as motivation. 

Peralta enrolled in Manor College in 2021 to become a Dental Hygiene major. Students looking to be in Dental Hygiene must be approved into the program after taking several prerequisite classes. 

During that first year, Peralta became close to several of his classmates who all had dreams of being in the Dental Hygiene program.

First, he met Anilek Navas at New Student Orientation. They met Neysha Medina and, later, Aracely Lebron, in a few of their classes. Over time, the group was inseparable. They’d meet in the library and study, or share lunch in the cafeteria. 

During the Spring semester, Dental Hygiene hopefuls receive an email from the Dental Hygiene program announcing whether they will be accepted, denied or waitlisted into the program. Navas, Medina and Lebron received their acceptance into the program on the same day. Peralta’s email informed him he had been waitlisted. 

“I had no idea what I was going to do,” Peralta said. “I didn’t have a Plan B. They all felt bad for me.” 

That day, he printed out the email and taped it to his desk. 

That Summer, Peralta worked in a Bucks County auto shop. That’s when he received the email that he’d been accepted into the Dental Hygiene program. 

“I was by myself at the time,” Peralta said, “but I was so excited.” 


Manor College’s Dental Hygiene program is among the most rigorous programs at the institution. Peralta knew that even after getting in, staying in the program wasn’t easy. Peralta couldn’t rely on help from home either. 

“My parents didn’t finish high school,” Peralta said, “so I had no one at home to turn to. Learning all these new terms wasn’t easy.” 

He dealt with the intensity of clinical sessions as well. Students in the program do full dental assessments and cleanings on patients. The techniques and hand movements took time to master. Peralta handled the pressure by working with his group, including Medina, Lebron and Navas. The group’s connection is so strong that even their families know each other now. 

“We trust each other and that’s clicked since we first met,” Peralta said. “We have each other’s backs. They helped me get through many things. I know if I need help, I can shoot them a text and ask a question and they can do the same with me.”

Peralta expects to graduate in May with his Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene. Even in his final semester, he keeps his motivation for success. 

“There’s always room for improvement, but this semester, I feel like I’m moving quicker,” Peralta said. “I remember my first semester in the program thinking someone wasn’t going to make it and I thought it was going to be me. Thank God we got through that.”

After graduation, Peralta will begin working once per week with one of his clinical instructors from Manor. He’s thinking about being a temporary fill-in across the area as he familiarizes himself with the dental community. 

“It feels like yesterday I was taking my prerequisites,” Peralta said. “I’m just happy and grateful that everything worked out and my efforts have paid off.” 

Peralta credits his classmates and professors at Manor College for helping him to see the finish line. 

“I’ll miss seeing the familiar faces on campus,” Peralta said. “At Manor, you’re bound to meet new friends. Those familiar faces became like family to me.” 

He added, “Manor College has been great to me. You get close to your teachers and I had a great advisor, Dr. Julie Senecoff, who guided me through and let me know what I needed to do to get into a competitive program.”

Meet our Graduates

Diego Peralta

Brooke Strassle

Eddie Fortesque

Neysha Medina

Yelyzaveta Mazepa

Wandell Scott

Keith Donofrio

Hailey Ramirez

Tamara Ellerbe

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