Dinverno, who grew up in Midland, Michigan, met her husband at 18, when he was a student at Northwood University.
“We got married and we did things backwards,” Dinverno relates. “He finished school, and I never got a chance to go to college.”
Throughout the years, Dinverno had worked the odd receptionist job, “but nothing that was really fulfilling.” One day, her husband engaged her in a serious conversation about her future. “Do you want to want to go back to school?” he asked. “I will support you.”
Following an eight-year gap in education, the prospect seemed both daunting and exciting to Dinverno, who “never thought that I could even go back to school with three kids.” She emailed three local colleges for guidance, and found that Macomb’s response was “warm and welcoming.” After meeting with a counselor on campus, “I knew immediately that this is where I wanted to be.” But, what did she want to be?
Dinverno did some research and concluded that dental hygiene was the right field to match her lifestyle. This was validated by the advice of her own hygienist, who shared that she loved the regular schedule and knowing what each day would bring.
At Macomb, Dinverno’s efforts have been centered around completing her prerequisites. In order to accommodate her busy home life and finances, Dinverno takes advantage of night and online classes, and will often limit herself to one or two courses per semester.
“Being a non-traditional student, it’s a little harder, because I have so much other stuff going on,” notes Dinverno. “But, I’m way more focused now than I could have ever been at 18 going into college.”
Now down to her final three classes, Dinverno will be applying in the fall for University of Detroit Mercy’s Dental Hygiene Program. And, she credits her extensive support network for getting her to this point.
“I couldn’t have done it without my husband,” notes Dinverno. “When he comes home from work, around five, I go to school.”
For the past three years, Dinverno’s study group, two other women with whom she’s shared classes and resources, has kept her on track.
“One of the girls is 24, I’m 29 and the other one is 39” says Dinverno. “So, it kind of helps, because we all see things so differently.”
Approaching the end of what she calls “an awesome, awesome journey” at Macomb, Dinverno now seems to have gained newfound confidence in herself, as well as a greater appreciation for who she is and her place in society.
“It’s so nice to accomplish something for yourself,” says Dinverno. “And, it’s so important to have your own identity.”