LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Central High School senior Da’J Cameron is on a mission, confidently saying, “If I want something, I’m going to get it.” 

What You Need To Know

  • Da’J Cameron has a 3.8 GPA in Central High School Dental Magnet

  • She has an internship at Mortenson Family Dental

  • Blazing a Trail: only 1% of dentists are Black women

  • Cameron is headed to Western Kentucky University for Masters in Biology before Dental School

So far what she’s wanted and gotten is success in the classroom. She’s an honor-roll student with a 3.8 grade point average. She also gives back to her community in multiple ways. 

Da'J Cameron is committed to becoming a successful dentist (Da'J Cameron)

Her teacher Rodshay Brooks says proudly, “From the first moment I met her, I knew that she was going to be on a blazing path of success.”
But what really sets Cameron apart is not what she has done, but what she will do. Cameron’s known since her freshman year that she wants to be a dentist and has worked for four years to make it happen. She’s taken classes in the Central Dental Magnet program and earned an apprenticeship at Mortenson Family Dental in Louisville, where she works every day to get hands-on training. She says the real life experience is invaluable and has further cemented her desire to enter the field, even though she knows she is an outlier. 

Da'J Cameron has earned an apprenticeship with Mortenson Family Dental in Louisville (Da'J Cameron"

She explains, “Only one percent of dentists are Black females and I can get discouraged sometimes because (I ask myself) ‘Am I reaching too far? Am I trying to do things that I’m not able to do?’ But it’s like no, I can do this!

Brooks stresses how important Cameron can be as a role model, saying, “She will be an addition to the few African-American women that are in dentistry and I think it’s very important that she is a representative and others are able to see, ‘Hey! This can be me.’ And not only that, she has the personality to reel more people in.” 

Cameron's teachers see her as a role model for others hoping and dreaming of great futures (Da'J Cameron)

That personality also includes a deep desire to inspire, paying forward the lessons she’s learned from her mentors. She says once she achieves her dream, she wants to motivate others to do the same thing, promising, “When I get there, I want to look at Black young girls and boys and even white boys and girls. I want to look at them and be like I was there. Eight years ago I was right where you are, and it is possible.”

Cameron is headed to Western Kentucky University this fall to pursue a Masters Degree in Biology and then plans on attending Dental School at the University of Louisville. She knows it won’t be easy, but she has a history of overcoming challenges and obstacles.

She tells us, “Things have happened in school and outside of school that have tested me. Life has just tested me in a lot of different areas and I’m like I have to keep pushing because I have a goal that I want to reach.”

And Brooks knows that goal will be achieved, saying, “Nothing can stop her — and she knows that!”

Da’J Cameron is a trailblazer and a role model and a deserving winner in the Spectrum News 1 High School Scholar program.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated Ms. Cameron had an internship with Mortenson Family Dental. She actually has an apprenticeship with the practice. We apologize for the error.