January College and Career Academy Student Spotlight – Chelsea Smith

January College and Career Academy Student Spotlight


“We’re seeing great success in our College and Career Academies. As Lt. Governor, I want to celebrate the academic achievements of students in our academies by highlighting a student enrolled in a College and Career Academy every month. For students, they find that the College and Career Academies’ challenging, hands-on programs provide greater relevancy and value in today’s workforce. This leads to higher graduation rates, immediate employment opportunities, and greater access to college. The specified student training is attractive to area businesses, and communities prosper from a highly-trained local workforce. For students, our mission is to promote academic excellence and prepare them for the 21st Century workforce.”

-Lt. Governor Casey Cagle


Name: Chelsea Smith

College and Career Academy: Central Educational Center

Why Chelsea Chose A College and Career Academy:

Early in high school, I had the opportunity to take part in the dual enrollment program with West Georgia Technical College at Central Educational Center (CEC) in Newnan, Georgia. This program allowed me to become a dental assistant while still in high school. It was during my time at the CEC that I realized what I actually wanted to do for my career and my College and Career Academy helped me narrow down which colleges to continue my education.

What Chelsea Learned:

While working, I learned more about my interest in the dental field. I also gained more experience with different dental cases in general dentistry, endodontics, periodontics and dental hygiene. Most importantly, I discovered how important the Coweta Samaritan Clinic is to the community. It truly helps people with no health insurance get the care they deserve…and helping people in need was the most rewarding part.

How it Changed Her life:

This real life experience assisted me in my educational and professional goals by helping me realize that the field of dentistry is where my passion is. I now know that I want to become a Pediatric Dentist or Orthodontist and practice dentistry in a one of our nation’s military branches.

Chelsea’s Future Goals:

After undergrad at Spelman, I plan on joining the Army Reserve in the Healthcare Careers Scholarship Program or a similar program in the Air Force Reserve, before going on to Dental School. Then, I look forward for 4 or 5 years with the reserves so that I can earn my degree in the specialty of Orthodontics.

About the Coweta Samaritan Clinic:

Coweta Samaritan Clinic (CSC) was created in 2008 to bring a free clinic to Newnan, Georgia. Generous support from the Coweta County Hospital Authority, Newnan Hospital Foundation, and Piedmont Newnan Hospital made the clinic a realtiy.

CSC began treating patients in October 2011. Since then the clinic’s patient base has grown to more than 950 individuals and volunteer healthcare professionals have conducted more than 8,000 patient visits.

With the exception of three full-time and four part-time employees, all medical care and office support is provided by volunteers, including the students at CEC. More than 80 volunteers are active at the clinic and the value of service provided by volunteers in 2014 was nearly $300,000.


Learn more about the Coweta Samaritan Clinic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcVMcY-3vl4.