March 7, 2014

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ALUMNA SIENA KARACAS
EVIT Program: Dental Assistant
Completion: 2013
Occupation goal: Dental Hygienist

“EVIT is college when you’re in high school.”

That’s how alumna Siena Karacas, 18, sums up the EVIT experience. And it’s a message she’d like to spread to high school students across the East Valley because too often they are told that EVIT isn’t for honors students or those who are college-bound.

Karacas’ internship through EVIT’s Dental Assistant program led to a job with Kids First Pediatrics in Gilbert. Now Karacas is taking pre-requisite courses at Chandler-Gilbert Community College before moving on to dental hygienist school at Phoenix College or Rio Salado College.

“I love working with kids and helping them realize (going to the dentist) is not scary,” said Karacas, who graduated from Chandler’s Hamilton High School and completed her EVIT program in 2013. “It’s nice to be able to educate people, to know what I’m talking about, and help them.”

Karacas recently visited her former Dental Assistant teacher, Janet Jensen, at EVIT’s Dr. A. Keith Crandell (Main) Campus.

“Mrs. Jensen is awesome,” she said. “She’s a great teacher … and so warm and welcoming.”

EVIT’s Dental Assistant program has an 85 percent success rate in placing students in jobs, college or the military. It’s one of 11 programs in the EVIT School of Health Sciences, where students often enroll as a step toward college – and a way to secure employment to help pay for college.

Like college, EVIT allows students with shared interests and goals to learn alongside each other.

“EVIT is a choice, and we’re doing it to learn and to grow,” Karacas said. “EVIT students already know what they want to do when they’re in high school. How many other high school students can say that?”

It is the policy of the East Valley Institute of Technology District #401 to provide all persons with equal employment and education opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, marital status, age or disability. District grievance procedures will be followed for compliance with Title IX and Section 504 requirements. The compliance officer is the EVIT Superintendent.

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