Caylie Simmons, B.S.D.H.

Class of 2022, Bachelor of Science Program
Photo of Caylie Simmons
“Be confident and true to yourself. Never forget the REASON why you are pushing forward. Most importantly never lose hope, even when the climb is difficult.”

Heart, Hope and Hygiene

Caylie Simmons is a 2022 graduate of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. In her own words, she describes her journey conquering a uniquely intense four-year hygiene program through loss and hope. 


Franklin, WV

In Her Words

I am incredibly proud of myself for making it through the dental hygiene program here at WVU. This program was difficult at times, but I worked extremely hard to get through it and I can proudly say I am a first-generation college student in my family.

During my sophomore year of dental hygiene school, on October 29th, 2019, I received news that my 25-year-old brother had passed away in a car accident. This was the most tragic thing to experience and watch my family go through.

Caylie Simmons holds her graduation cap with a picture of her and her brother inside.
(photo credit: SS Imagery)

The dental hygiene program and School of Dentistry were extremely supportive, as they helped me navigate my school workload when I returned to campus. Even though I had the biggest support system, there was a time I felt like quitting because I did not see the point in moving forward.

The one thing that gave me hope to keep moving forward was my brother Corey. He was always so supportive of me no matter what I was involved in, especially school. He was known to have the biggest smile and provide the best words of encouragement. I know he is the reason that I completed this program. He was able to attend my high school graduation and I know he will be at my undergrad graduation in spirit.

I hope that writing this brief message about a tragic time I had to experience gives Mountaineer Students hope to never give up on your dreams no matter what difficult road you may be facing. Be confident and true to yourself, never forget the REASON why you are pushing forward and most importantly never lose hope, even when the climb is difficult.