First, let me say that I am SUPER excited to be here in Alma! Everyone has been so amazing and welcoming that my wife and I instantly feel at home. I wouldn’t say Metro-Detroiters are the worst people in the world, but they definitely do not have the same friendliness as everyone here in Alma. We can’t wait to build our future here.
So why Alma? Well, that answer starts with Dr. Keith Bever Sr. He was a faculty member at Detroit’s Orthodontic program, and we instantly clicked. He is one of the greatest mentors I’ve ever had, and I’m lucky to have met him. He opened my eyes to the possibilities available that you only get in a community like Alma. On top of that, my wife and I couldn’t wait to get out of Metro-Detroit and move to a place where we could finally own some land. Now, I'm ready to start this new chapter in my life as Alma’s new Orthodontist.
You’ve probably read the “About Me” section on here, but I’m writing this to give you a more detailed picture of me, my story, where I came from, and where I’m going. First, I'll start with my hometown. I grew up in Trenton, Michigan, which is a small town 30 minutes south of Detroit that is part of an area called “Downriver”- a group of small cities that is just below the Rouge River. As you can probably guess, it is not one of the most scenic places in Michigan. However, I had a great childhood. When I wasn’t at school, I was at my parent’s Used Car Lot interacting with the customers and stealing the best toys out of the toy chest.
The Used Car Lot life wasn’t for me though. When I turned 16 and officially started work as the porter (the lowest man on the totem pole), my Mom told me I was the worst employee she ever had, LOL. Granted, I spent most of my time messing around with my brother and flirting with all the girls looking for their first car. When I wasn’t distracted by that, I was studying and studying hard. I knew I wanted to be an Orthodontist, and I knew it was going to take everything I had. Michigan State University, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, and Orthodontic Residency were some of the hardest/most stressful years of my life, but it was all worth it. Orthodontics is the perfect fit for me and I wake up every day grateful for this opportunity. The opportunity to change someone's life. The opportunity to give them the confidence to walk up to the prettiest girl in high school and ask them out on a date. A date that would lead to a marriage. An incredible relationship that all started with "You have a great smile" An opportunity I know all too well.
I can’t lie though. I can say I’ve always wanted to be an Orthodontist, but I didn’t always believe I could do it. The studying, the finals, the Board Exams, and endless hoops to jump through at one point finally got to me. For a time there in dental school, it got dark. I gave up on my dream and worst of all, I gave up on myself. I told myself that I wasn’t worthy, couldn’t cut it, and shouldn’t try anymore. Thank God for Chelsey. My light, my support, and my rock. My heaven sent Angel who has been with me since the beginning and believed in me when I needed it most. Her story will come in a future blog so stay tuned, but if it wasn’t for her, I would not be here typing this right now. I am forever indebted to her because she believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.
That whole experience had a silver lining though. It taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life: the fastest way to guarantee failure is by never trying. Giving up before you ever start. I wouldn’t have become an Orthodontist if I never applied to residency, and I almost didn’t. I admitted defeat before I even attempted it. Never again, though. Never again will I be too afraid to take a risk, a leap of faith, or believe in me. Life shouldn't be lived with what-ifs and could've been. My goal is to grow old without a single regret, knowing that I took every single chance possible to follow my dreams. I urge the same for you.
So, what’s next? Well stay tuned and I’ll show you ;) I have big plans. I am going to change the world of Orthodontics, and it will start here in Alma, Michigan. I am so, so grateful for this opportunity, and I am committed to becoming the best Orthodontist I can be. For my patients, for my wife, and for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.