3/4/2019 Part 19 Claire’s Story: Working hard

By P. Berman, K. Hecht, & A. Hosack  

I can’t be late Davy, I need this job! Let me get your pants on.  

Claire has a part-time job at the community library shelving books. She worked enough hours to qualify for continued foster care. Claire hoped her worries would soon be over. She had been accepted into Dental Hygiene school and would start in the Fall. It would only take her one more year of school and she would earn around $40-50,000 dollars a year- if the school brochure was right. This was more money than her parents had made all together. Claire couldn’t believe that she could make so much money!  

I will never need SNAP benefits to feed us! Davy won’t get free lunches at school! No one will call him trash like they did me! 

It was such a lucky accident that Claire had even heard about this career.  Mrs. Carson had taken Davy and her to the park. Mrs. Carson was so friendly, she was always talking to people she met; Claire wished she could do this, but she could never get up the courage to say hello to stranger; would they would be able to tell she was a foster kid and think she was trash? 

Today, Mrs. Carson began talking to Shelly who had a little boy Davy’s age. It turned out that Shelly was a single mom and had a career as a dental hygienist. She loved it and was so kind and bubbly, she even offered to let Claire come one day and shadow her. Everything happened so fast, one day Ms. Alexandra was saying she could stay in foster care if she continued her education, and it seemed like the next day, she was following Shelly around and seeing how wonderful it would be to work in such a clean office, with such polite people, and make money! 


Shelly recommended her own school program to Claire and downloaded the forms from the internet Claire would need to apply. Claire had panicked at all the forms that needed to be completed. She was so scared she told Shelly she could never figure out how to complete them. Shelly saw she was white as a sheet and just began filling out the first one while asking Claire questions.  Shelly took an hour to help walk Claire through how to complete the forms – then she submitted them for Claire. It was amazing how much she helped Claire. Shelly already knew how to be an advocate for someone else. Claire prayed that someday she could be an advocate for herself. She told Mrs. Carson how much Shelly had helped her. Mrs. Carson had helped Claire make a batch of cookies to give Shelly as a thank you. Now, a few months later, Claire had been admitted to school.   

Interested in finding out about dental assistant school? Check out this link and find your state’s specifics: https://dentalassistantedu.org/dh/pa/ 

Let me get your pants on DAVY! Come on don’t be a brat! 

She just had to get Davy dressed so he wouldn’t miss the school bus. So far, he seemed to be liking school. Wouldn’t it be great if Davy never had to worry like Claire had about whether he could make it through school? Despite liking school, 3-year-old Davy is tired and just wants to stay home –why should he cooperate and get ready for the bus when he doesn’t want to go? “Davy,” Claire says in her serious mommy voice, “stop squirming, if you miss the bus, you won’t get pancakes for breakfast at Head Start.” Claire has learned from Head Start that reminding Davy about what was going to happen next, if he cooperated was a good way to get him to behave. Davy loved pancakes, he started helping Claire get him ready and she got him on the bus. . . just in time. 

2 thoughts on “3/4/2019 Part 19 Claire’s Story: Working hard

  1. Rachel says:

    I recently saw a father’s desperate 20 minute attempt to get his daughter to put her coat on before they went outside. Not an easy job!


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