Lipstick Ready highlights Abi Adeyeye for the “Girls with Gloss” series.
Abi Adeyeye Shares Her Passion for Dental Medicine
Written by: Arian Augustus
Abi Adeyeye is a pediatric dental resident studying at the Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education. She is set to graduate in June of 2019.
Read on to learn how this Girl with Gloss stays motivated on her journey toward becoming a dentist.
Has it been a smooth journey getting into your industry? If not, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
It has most definitely not been a smooth road. The dental field is a male-dominated industry. There are also not very many African-American female dentists. I did not have a guide or mentor on how to enter into my field. It was tough to figure out the right path, but when I did, things became easier.
What is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
THAT WE ONLY CLEAN TEETH!
How old were you when you discovered your gift? When did you get comfortable sharing that gift with other people and how did they react?
I knew very early on that I wanted to be a physician because my mother was in the medical field. For most of my college career I was on the path for med school. I was offered the opportunity to volunteer at a homeless dental clinic my junior year of college. That experience changed my life and my career path.
What was your childhood like? Describe your environment from your house to your neighborhood to your school. How did these experiences shape you and your future success?
I was born and raised in Ilesa, Nigeria. My family emigrated to the United States when I was in middle school. I grew up in a household where I was taught nothing was beyond my reach. My parents made it well known to my four siblings and I early on that college was not something they could afford for us, so they encouraged us to find different ways to prepare for college both educationally and financially. Growing up in my household was amazing! My siblings are my closest friends and my parents are my biggest support system.
Describe the moment when you knew you were on the right path. How did that affirmation encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams?
I cannot really pinpoint a specific moment. But, I do know I am on the right track because regardless of how bad or tired I feel or how hard my day is, I LOVE what I do. I think not just affirmation, but specifically self-affirmation is very important. So often we let ourselves become consumed by the thoughts of things going wrong that we need to balance that with a little self-appreciation.
What have you had to do - mentally, physically, emotionally - to prepare yourself to pursue your career?
The path of my chosen profession is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. The process of taking the dental admissions test and the interview process are both hard. When you are finally in dental school, the work load takes a heavy toll, mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. I have had to sacrifice some friendships for the betterment of my future. I overcame by praying and re-reminding myself why I fell in love with my profession in the first place.
Tell us about your inner circle (close friends, family, mentors, relationship). How does their support impact your success?
My inner circle is DEEP. I have been blessed with some ambitious black women friends, from engineers to entrepreneurs, to doctors. My girls are always setting new goals for themselves and that keeps me motivated.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself and others?
People will only give you the respect that you demand, so walk with confidence knowing you have so much to offer this world.
What do you see yourself accomplishing in the next 3 years? What are you currently doing to prepare for this outcome?
I see myself owning my own practice and offering quality care to medically complex patients.
Can you share a secret with us that you haven’t shared anywhere else?
I failed calculus 1 in undergrad. It made me feel like I wasn’t meant to be a dentist or I didn’t have what it took to succeed in life.
If you had a chance to talk to your 15-year-old self, what would you say?
I would remind myself to believe in my own potential and not to let self-doubt dissuade me from taking risks.
Why is it important for the next generation of young women to see people like yourself? What message do you have for a Gen Z’er hoping to pursue a similar career?
Take things one step at a time. Set small goals for yourself and, before you know it, you will have accomplished more than you thought you could.
Abi Adeyeye is a Girl with Gloss!