Divin Kang caught the dentistry bug after witnessing a 12-hour, full mouth reconstruction surgery at her uncle’s practice.
“It was cool to see the different types of physicians coming together. You had the oral surgeon who took out the teeth, you had the denturists who make the dentures and implants, and you had the hygienist who went over how to take care of the new teeth,” said Kang, a Bachelor of Science student also majoring in psychology.
“It was just super rewarding to see how happy the patient was at the end of the day.”
That opportunity was just one of many ways family has influenced the aspiring dentist’s life. Whenever Kang gets a good grade, she never fails to tell her mother and father about her accomplishment.
“I always go to my parents to say: ‘Hey, look! I did this well on this test,'” she said. “It’s just how proud they are of me that makes me want to keep going.”
Although her achievements include making the Dean’s Honour List and being part of UNICEF Carleton’s executive team, Kang wasn’t always a model student. In her first year of university, she received a grade so low she had to repeat the course.
“That was my wake-up call that I needed to change the way I was approaching school,” Kang said.
As bad as the experience was, the honours students doesn’t regret it.
“If I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t be as successful at my academic studies as I am now,” she said. “It’s just that one thing that causes you to change and for me it was doing poorly in a course.”
The turning point for Kang came in second year when she once again started doing poorly in school. This time, the struggling student received an email telling her to go to the Science Student Success Centre (SSSC), a place where mentors are available to help students with their academics.
“They really helped me to get on track and told me how to be successful with the class and the labs,” Kang said.
The centre even inspired Kang to pay it forward by becoming a volunteer there.
“I just wanted to be that someone in a position to help,” she said. “It makes me feel good knowing I’ve tried my best to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Making friends within her program is another reason Kang is thankful for the SSSC. She said it has become a place where she will often pop in to socialize.
“I definitely don’t think my time at Carleton would be the same without the centre,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to all the friends that I’ve made there.”
After Carleton, Kang sees herself going to dental school and working in a community health program with the government or with Doctors Without Borders. Her goal is to one day repay her family for their support.
“My dad – there’s three of us (kids) – is always saying how he’ll have to work until he’s 80 to pay off all our schooling,” she said. “I want to be successful so they (my parents) can retire once I get a job. I want to help take care of them the way they’ve helped take care of me.”
Divin Kang is one of Carleton’s newest CU75 campaign champions. Help us celebrate our incredible people by visiting their biographical pages and sharing their stories on social media.