After many applications were received, we’re thrilled to congratulate Kelly Nguyen for winning our first Pay It Forward Scholarship for dental students in the United States. The scholarship was created to thank dental students for their selfless dedication to their communities. Eligibility for the scholarship required a minimum of 50 hours volunteered, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation from their educational institution.
While there were many deserving applicants, the winner was Kelly Nguyen, a student at Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry. Kelly is a fourth-year student that has volunteered in California and Honduras, working with various under-privileged communities to promote oral health education.
“I would like to become a community dentist at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) after obtaining my DDS degree because I am interested in understanding the ways to reduce the barriers of access to oral healthcare for different groups of individuals,” states Kelly, “I hope to learn how to implement successful oral health outreach programs that cater to a variety of affected populations… who face barriers to access such as cultural/language barriers and educational barriers, geographical obstacles, and financial hurdles.”
Kelly is no stranger to hardship – she lost her mother to a brain aneurysm as an infant, and her father to cancer shortly before starting dental school. Kelly also spent some time in the hospital herself due a bad allergic reaction to medication. Yet throughout her hardship, she’s persevered in obtaining her degree, and will be graduating in 2018.
For more information, read the full press release here.