Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Meet Rio's 2018 Student Commencement Speaker

Banner for graduation featuring Jamie Peredo in graduation attire.  Text: Congratulations Rio Salado College Class of 2018

Meet Jamie Peredo-- Rio Salado's 2018 Student Commencement Speaker! 

Some people who attend college know exactly what program they want to pursue, and others take a little while to figure out where their interests lie. For Jamie Peredo, attending Rio Salado College not only gave her a college degree, but awakened a new career path as well.

Peredo, a mother of two children, had already found a career field she loved – dental care. She just needed the college degree to advance her career.

Peredo in graduation attire

She chose Rio Salado College, and recently graduated with honors, earning an associate degree in dental hygiene.

“It was such a blessing to have been accepted into Rio Salado College, as the faculty and staff were extremely helpful and approachable with their 'students first' attitude,” Peredo said.

While attending Rio Salado, Peredo juggled family and school obligations while also working part-time as a dental assistant at a local family dentistry, and part-time as an instructor for the American Institute of Dental Assisting.

“Having trained many new and seasoned dental assistants, I realized that something I found most rewarding is helping others succeed,” Peredo said.
Peredo in dental clinic scrubs

Peredo became a lead instructor, teaching lab and clinical skills.

“My students look to me for support and guidance, knowing that I have their best interests at heart,” Peredo said. “This position allowed me to find my love for teaching.”

Peredo’s instructors were also influential in helping her discover a love of teaching.

“I was blessed with an inspiring and skilled group of instructors at Rio Salado College,” Peredo said. “Their clear desire for students’ success has encouraged me to continue my education.”

As an honors student, Peredo was one of two Rio Salado students named to the 2018 All-Arizona Academic Team (ALL AZ). Students are chosen for demonstrating academic excellence and leadership and service to the community.

 ALL AZ PHOTO. Back: Holly Harper, Kerrie Specker, Dr. Chris Bustamante,
John Bastian and Dr. Melanie Abts. Front scholars: Crystal Roberto,Jamie Peredo

The honor includes tuition to one of Arizona’s three state universities and a cash scholarship. (See related story)

Peredo is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene at Northern Arizona University.
“My new career goal – my new dream – is to become an adjunct faculty member,” Peredo said. “I want to ultimately teach dental hygiene at a community college and help students succeed in reaching their full potential.”

Contributed by Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator.