"I think it’s really important for us to be leaders in the community."
With an interest in dentistry and siblings already attending the Dugoni School of Dentistry, you would think that Tina Ngo had her career path set. However, she wanted to make sure a dental career was something she actually wanted for herself. So she initially majored in economics at San Diego State University. However, it wasn't long before her plans changed.
"I realized after my first semester that I was more interested in biology than economics," recalls Tina. "Shadowing a couple of dentists made me see that I loved dentistry."
When it came time to decide on a dental school, the Dugoni School of Dentistry was a logical choice for her. Tina's two older sisters - Joanne Ngo '13 and Class of 2014 Jessica Ngo - had gotten there first. However, she says, her sisters had no influence on her decision.
"I chose Pacific, not only because it's an accelerated program, but also because of the atmosphere," says Tina. "It's an extremely supportive environment and everyone here treats you as a colleague."
One of Tina's passions is community service, a passion that has only grown stronger since she started at Pacific. She's found that the school gives students plenty of opportunities to give back to the community. And for Tina, this has been a rewarding experience.
"I don't just want to immerse myself in academics all the time," says Tina. "I think it's really important for us to be leaders in the community."
It's taken some time, but Tina's found the balance between her studies and her extracurricular activities. She enjoys teamwork and collaboration and has joined numerous clubs at the school. She is serving as the Associated Student Body's vice president and is also a member of the Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program.
As for her career after graduation, Tina plans to fulfill the commitment that is part of her National Health Service Corps scholarship, which requires her to provide health care to communities in need upon graduation. She is planning to work in a community clinic, and is looking forward to the change in pace and to helping those who are less fortunate.
"No matter what I end up doing, I know I'm going to continue to work in the community," says Tina. "There's nothing more rewarding than seeing smiles on the faces of those I'm helping."