First student through unique scheme turns dream career into reality
The first ever graduate through a unique access to dentistry scheme at the University of Sheffield has landed his dream job.
Lee Del Rosso, 21, from Sheffield, began the Access to Dental Occupations – Practice and Tutoring Scheme (ADOPT) as an A-Level student in 2007. He was one of the first students to join the initiative which aims to encourage youngsters from backgrounds which are under-represented in higher education.
The two-year programme, designed especially for teenagers interested in a career in the field of dentistry, is hosted by the University's Outreach and Access Team. Throughout their time on ADOPT the students participate in a range of exciting aspiration and attainment raising activities designed to help them achieve their goals. Upon completion of the programme students are guaranteed an interview for an appropriate course at the University's School of Clinical Dentistry and are supported throughout the application process.
"Before ADOPT I was quite apprehensive about higher education and as none of my family had been to university I didn’t really have anyone to help me justify my decision about studying further," said Lee.
"ADOPT not only alleviated my apprehensions but also provided my parents with reassurance. Without any pressure the scheme allowed me to realise what I wanted in a career and that higher education would not only expand my academic abilities to be able to complete the course, but develop the person behind the qualification."
He added: "From the very first ADOPT event I attended at the dental school, the warmth, integrity and passion expressed by the team took me out of my 17 year old frame of mind and placed me amongst academics, professors, dentists, surgeons, university tutors and students.
Who can take part in ADOPT?
The students should:
"This atmosphere of mutual respect that was created at the events was the most enjoyable factor for me. I felt like a university student each time and in a position where any existing interest in the career could have only been amplified every time I visited Sheffield."
Lee, who is originally from Nottingham, graduated this summer after completing a Dental Hygiene and Therapy course. He will begin his dream job as a Dental Therapist in September at a practice in Hemsworth, Pontefract.
Lee added: "I’m very proud that I was part of the ADOPT scheme and I will always be grateful for what they have done for me not just through my A Levels but the interest they have shown through my time at the University of Sheffield.
"The skills and experience I gained through ADOPT was absolutely invaluable. Not only were we encouraged to develop our social boundaries and team working skills, which are crucial to a career in the healthcare sector, but we were also given the opportunity get hands on with the tools of the trade.
"I hope that other students passing through the ADOPT scheme realise what great opportunities lie in their path if they take advantage of the scheme and the experiences it offers. I believe that if there were more outreach schemes like this that can give direction and generate ambitious 16 to 18 year olds, we would have more eager undergraduates who in turn make more profound graduates of Higher Education."
David Broomby, Outreach Activities Officer, said: "The ADOPT scheme is a really great initiative for young people that are local and have an interest in the field of dentistry. They get a real hands on experience of what the course is like as well as an insight into the dentistry profession.
"I am really pleased for Lee, not only because he is our first ADOPT graduate in the Hygiene and Therapy course but also because of the support he has shown to the scheme whilst he was studying at the university. We wish him well for the future and hope his story can help inspire others out there to consider dentistry courses and Higher Education in general."
Access to Dental Occupations – Practice and Tutoring Scheme
The University of Sheffield's Access to Dental Occupation – Practice and Tutoring (ADOPT) scheme is a two-year programme for Year 12 students who are interested in a career in dentistry, as a dentist, hygienist or therapist but who may face barriers to higher education due to their background or environment.
The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.
The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.
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