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Hands-on clinic + lifelong friends = out-of-the-park success

“I played a few different sports, but this is the only one that I’ve actually stuck with,” says Olivia Hemstock, a since-graduated member of the Penn College softball team, in a newly posted Wildcat Spotlight video. Hemstock crossed the Community Arts Center stage in mid-May to claim her associate degree in dental hygiene, the culmination of a college experience that included a first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference championship in 2021. “Sticking with it” could well be her motto, as persistence and friendship turned self-doubt into self-confidence. “Before I got here, I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do this. I don’t know how to balance both sports and dental hygiene,'” she says. “Once I met amazing people on the team – and really enjoyed my major, as tough as it was – you figure it out.” Hemstock has passed all of her board exams and is job-shadowing co-workers at the North Branford Dental Group in her Connecticut hometown; she will begin work as a full-time hygienist there once her license is received.

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