Wellness Student Spotlight: Diamond Higgin, D24

"Balancing the demands of parenthood with rigorous academic and clinical training has been a challenging yet deeply rewarding experience."
Diamond Higgin, D24

My name is Diamond Higgin. I am graduating this May as a Doctor of Dental Medicine

Who is someone who has had an impact on you during your professional degree program? 

My daughter Ava has had the biggest impact on me throughout Dental School, allowing me to grow in unimaginable ways. She showed me how to push past my limits and achieve any goal I set, inspiring both myself and many others. I am immensely proud of the single moms who have followed and will follow in the path I have sought to pave; know that you are beautiful, strong, smart, and capable in every way. You all inspire and motivate me to do better, and each of you has exceeded my expectations — I will forever remember each and every one of you with love, Diamond and Ava.

What is one activity you have done that contributed to your physical, mental, or emotional well-being over the course of your time at Tufts?

Throughout Dental School, my relationship with God became my guiding light, taking precedence over everything else. It was the unwavering constant that anchored me during my academic journey. My faith and trust in God provided me with peace of mind and a grounding force, enabling me to navigate challenges with resilience. This spiritual foundation also allowed me to connect deeply with others, forging lasting friendships and sisterhoods that I will cherish forever. 

I believe that though I went through certain hardships and Dental School they all work out for my good Romans 8: 28. I believe strongly that there are no missteps when I am following his steps. and I know that I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me Philippians 4:13.

What is something you have done in your professional degree program that you are proud of? 

I'm incredibly proud of the journey I've navigated through Dental School while being a single mom. Balancing the demands of parenthood with rigorous academic and clinical training has been a challenging yet deeply rewarding experience. Serving on panels and at ADA conferences has allowed me to advocate for others and share my life stories, providing a platform to encourage and inspire others to pursue their dreams wholeheartedly. I am also proud to be able to pave the way for others, and give back to the next generation of mothers and students who also embark on a journey similar to mine... My journey is a testament to resilience and dedication, and I hope it motivates others to overcome their challenges and reach their full potential.

What is a challenging situation that you did not think you would overcome, but you did?

Leaving home and moving 300 miles away with my daughter to pursue my dental degree was a daunting yet purposeful journey, always focused on the end goal rather than the obstacles in my path. Throughout my time at Tufts, I've paced myself with the belief that anything is possible, despite the numerous hardships encountered along the way. The triumphs I've achieved far outweigh the challenges, reinforcing my commitment and resilience.

A very personal and tragic situation during my second year could not deter me from fiercely pursuing my dental degree, even as I faced the heart-wrenching experience of being away from my daughter for a year while she completed her first year of kindergarten. It was our first time apart, making the challenge even greater, yet my commitment to our future kept me focused and determined.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in pursuing this career?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced while pursuing my dental degree has been overcoming life's unpredictable surprises. Maneuvering through dental school, motherhood, and life's unexpected moments proved to be incredibly demanding, but I was able to prevail with determination and resilience. I am deeply grateful for the strength that allowed me to succeed despite these obstacles.

What is something you wish you knew at the start of your journey? / What is a piece of advice you would give your past self?

At the beginning of my journey, I wish I had understood the invaluable nature of peace of mind over finances, especially during Dental School. Coming from a single-parent home, financial worries often loomed large, but I now realize that Dental School is a crucial investment in my future. I should have viewed these four years as just one part of the bigger picture, constantly reminding myself that nothing worthwhile is ever too expensive.

What will you miss most about being at Tufts and/or living in Boston?

What I will miss most are the deep connections I have made with friends and faculty members at Tufts, as well as through extracurricular activities and my church. My church has been a tremendous anchor for me over these four years, providing unwavering support through many challenges. The experiences I've had have allowed me to form lifelong friendships and a sense of family that I will always cherish. These bonds have been integral to my journey and will remain a treasured part of my life.

What is one thing you are looking forward to most in your life post-grad?

After postgrad, I am most excited about curating my own schedule and leaning more into Mommy mode. I know that this new phase will open up opportunities for me to flourish, grow, and work on my craft while also tending to relationships that took a backseat during Dental School. I look forward to traveling and relaunching my nonprofit for single mothers and fathers, "Make It Happen MoMmy," which I paused in my second year to focus on my daughter, Ava, and my studies.