By Mary Jo Penna Jul 21, 2022
The first thing you notice about Jami Stewart is her smile. The next thing you discover is that she is a warm and ambitious young woman. Stewart, a senior at Brevard College, is a health science major, with minors in chemistry and biology. Stewart’s smile speaks volumes because her professional goal is to be a dentist, specializing in orthodontics. This summer she is busy preparing for the Dental Admission Test or DAT, a standardized exam that potential dental students take for admission to dental school.
Among her top picks for dental schools are High Point College in Greensboro, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and the University of Florida. Any of these colleges and universities would be lucky to have Stewart enrolled in their program. She is a serious student. At Brevard College, she was chosen to be a learning consultant in biology and chemistry, and worked as a teaching assistant for general chemistry classes.
Stewart admits she is a little nervous about leaving her hometown of Brevard to pursue graduate school, but she is confident she will succeed because of the love and support of her family. Stewart, the youngest of three children, credits her parents and grandparents for believing in her and helping her to achieve, stating, “My Granddaddy is my biggest fan.”
Her interest in the health sciences began as a child. At the age of 8 years, Stewart was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She said that majoring in the health sciences contributed to her understanding of the disease and enabled more comprehensible conversations with her doctors. Stewart credits Dr. Jeffrey Root at Water Oak Dental Group for her interest in dentistry. Her interest in orthodontics stems from her own experience wearing braces.
“I was in the orthodontist’s office once a month for six years,” Stewart said.
All that time spent in the orthodontist chair has provided unique insights and has helped shape her approach to dentistry. She acknowledges that children are often scared of the dentist and she wants to find ways to put her patients at ease, so that they can relax and enjoy the process.
When Stewart is not in the classroom, she enjoys playing with her three dogs and hanging out with friends, but one of the biggest joys in her life is being an aunt. She adores her niece and three nephews and makes spending time with them a priority.
This fall begins her last year at Brevard College. She was asked what the Connestee Falls student scholarship meant to her.
“The financial aspect of college weighs heavily on students," Stewart said. "The scholarship helped take some of the weight off and helped me flourish in my academics.”
She is thankful to the businesses and individuals who donated to the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program (CFSSP).
“This help means more to students than they will know," she said. "College is expensive and their financial assistance is helping me achieve my dreams.”
For those interested learning more about the scholarship fund and fundraising activities, visit the CFSSP website at