MCC grad Chandani Patel: A Salute to Excellence

Chandani Patel, 21, from Diamond Head, has been recognized by Meridian's WTOK TV's Salute to Excellence program for her achievements as a recent graduate of Meridian Community College's Dental Hygiene Program. 

Honored by her recognition, Patel, who graduated from MCC with a perfect 4.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, expressed gratitude for the opportunity. "I'm excited and honored to be part of this program," she said.  

Patel's career choice was rooted in her childhood experiences. "Whenever I was a kid, I had positive experiences with dental hygienists, so I wanted to give back and make other patients feel the same way as I did." 

However, she chose MCC to build the foundation of her career because of its location. "I wanted to be in the Dental Hygiene Program, so I decided to apply to Meridian since that was two and a half hours away. That's closer to me than the other programs," she said. 

She said her time at MCC was transformative. "The program prepared us for our careers," Patel said, noting that she and her classmates formed close bonds with each other and the instructors. Living on campus, she appreciated her own space in the first year and shared a room with a freshman in her second year. 

The College's Dental Hygiene Program required a significant commitment. From Monday through Thursday, Patel and her classmates were in class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The long days didn't end there; she often went home to study after being in the clinic. Despite the challenges, Patel remained focused and driven. "To go home and study after clinic was hard – because I'm already tired," she admitted. Yet, her perseverance paid off. 

With her board exams on the horizon, Patel is returning to her roots. "I plan on working in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area – my home," she said. Her immediate goal is to remain a clinical hygienist for as long as possible. "If I want to try something new, I will return," she added. 

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