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Academy Grads Return to Speak with Students



Students who recently graduated from the Chairside Dental Assisting Program at Bixhorn Technical Center (BTC) returned to the classroom to provide mentorship to current high school students. Chairside Dental Assisting is one program offered by the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology. The Academy is the Career and Technical Education Program of Eastern Suffolk BOCES and has schools in Bellport, Oakdale, and Riverhead.


Three former students visited the class: Xiomara Aragon and Natalie Amaya who graduated from the program in 2015, and Ryan Galardi who graduated in 2016. After graduating from The Academy, all three students moved on to pursue an associate degree in dental hygiene from SUNY Farmingdale.


The graduates told the students about their experience in college, and how their Academy experience can help them in college. “The first semester is basically this class,” Ryan said. “It was a nice refresher and a good way to ease into the program without getting overwhelmed with new information.”


The graduates also discussed job opportunities available after college, including non-traditional career paths, such as working with a temporary employment agency to give the students more flexibility and a higher pay rate.


 Thirteen people stand smiling in front of dental equipment.



Ryan Galardi, Xiomara Aragon, and Natalie Amaya (front row) returned to their former Chairside Dental Assisting Classroom at BTC to talk with current students about their college experiences.