Jorel Belarmino

Jorel Belarmino

D.H. Class of 2014

Senior dental hygiene student Jorel Belarmino always figured he would work in the health industry.

"Everyone in my family is in health care, Belarmino said. "I grew up liking science and have been interested in instruments and tools since childhood."

After earning a biology degree from VCU, Belarmino considered careers in nursing and dentistry before finding a passion for dental hygiene.

"I began working at a local dental office and assisted the dental hygienists there," said Belarmino. "I enjoyed the synergy of the role with the dentists and the rest of the team. I saw the good quality of life in that profession and thought I could do what they did."

After encouragement from a co-worker, Belarmino enrolled in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry's dental hygiene program.

"The VCU School of Dentistry has an outstanding reputation," he said. "The dental hygiene program offers service-learning opportunities in the community. The faculty push us to do our best."

After graduation, Belarmino plans to work in private practice. His passion lies in motivating others. He hopes one day to return to teaching to help other students find their passion for dental hygiene.

Belmarino has simple advice to students interested in attending the dental hygiene program.

"Do it!" he said. "Ask yourself why you want to pursue dental hygiene. The 'why' will propel you to success. Hold on to the 'why'."