Unlike many young children, Alexis Savage loved visiting the dentist, and from an early age felt that dentistry was a health career that she could see herself in.
“I just remember being really "at home" and fascinated by my environment,” Savage recalled. “I hope to make people feel really comfortable when they sit in the dentist chair and realize that the dentist is here to help [them] so [they] shouldn't be afraid.”
When applying to college her senior year of high school, Savage toured various campuses and learned about the VCU Acceleration Program during the VCU Fall Block visit. With her career goal in mind, Savage decided to apply to the VCU Pipeline Program.
“[I]t seemed like such a great opportunity to learn more about the healthcare field,” Savage said, and it additionally appealed to her to, “get to know other students before attending college.”
During the summer session of Acceleration, Savage felt that she was getting the head start the program promised. Savage particularly enjoyed the workshops and meeting the faculty from VCU’s health professional schools, learning firsthand what each school was looking for in their applicants.
“While I was participating in the program I learned that I could major in anything that I wanted as long as I met the prerequisite requirements for my desired program before applying. I didn't know this before participating to the program. I had always thought that you had to be a science major.”
After completion of VCU Acceleration, Savage was drawn to another living-learning community that has a heavy emphasis on volunteering, VCU ASPiRE. For the next two years Savage fulfilled over 100 hours of community service, earning her the President’s Volunteer Service Award. In addition to her work with ASPiRE, Savage has put in hours gaining valuable first-hand experience in her field serving rural communities at the Goochland Free Clinic and a Missions of Mercy Project in Grundy, VA.
“Even though I was doing a lot of the dirty work (taking out trash, cleaning bloody instruments, cleaning out the suction tubes, etc.), I left feeling a sense of accomplishment that I had spent my time being a part of something that made such a big impact for people who cannot afford dental care,” reflected Savage.
When she’s not volunteering, Savage participates in the pre-health fraternity, Delta Epsilon Mu, and served as the Social Chair, taking the opportunity to give presentations about health topics of personal interest. As an undergraduate senior with a Science major and concentration in Health Preparation/Professional Science, Savage plans to apply to the VCU Dental Hygiene degree program upon graduation.