The Advanced Dental Center of Florence recently donated $3,500 in scholarships to the Florence-Darlington Technical College Educational Foundation for students in the Dental Hygiene and Expanded-Duty Dental Assisting programs.
Both programs at FDTC see a 100 percent job placement rate following graduation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20.7 percent increase in employment of dental hygienists and a 20.5 percent increase in employment of dental assistants by 2026. Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.
“The latest technology combined with high quality personnel and effective training programs allow Advanced Dental Center to deliver on our motto of ‘Keep Your Smile For Life,’” said
Dr. Joseph Griffin, who owns and operates the Advanced Dental Center of Florence.
Recipients of the scholarship funding included Natalie Bruick, Katie Miller, Lauris Montgomery, Ashleigh Van Norman, Andrea Smith, Chelsea Tedder and Odre’Aunna Watkins.
FDTC’s Dental Hygiene program is an associate’s program that is comprised of didactic, clinical and laboratory courses. The FDTC Health Sciences Campus located in downtown Florence has a fully functional clinic that is open to the public. Students of the program are able to get real life, hands-on training before they graduate from the college.
“The commitment that Dr. Griffin has provided with these scholarships is the key that unlocks the future for these deserving dental hygiene students,” said Caroline Bunce, the director of the Dental Hygiene program. “His financial support to the FDTC student is building their confidence and removing obstacles that stand in the way of success.”
The Expanded-Duty Dental Assisting program is a diploma program. In additional to clinical experience at FDTC, students of the program also visit off-site locations to gain hands-on training.
Griffin serves on the board of the Florence-Darlington County Commission for Technical Education and is a regular contributor to the FDTC Educational Foundation.
In 2009, Griffin was a recipient of the South Carolina Palmetto Patriot Award that is awarded by the lieutenant governor’s office for dedication to community service. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, South Carolina Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Pee Dee Study Club.
“We greatly appreciate all community support for the dental programs at Florence-Darlington Technical College,” Dr. Jamie Driggers said. “Without contributions like that of Dr. Griffin and so many others, our students would have to bear a greater financial burden.”
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