2018 Scholarship Winner, Rachael G.

Missouri Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,

l want to say thank you for your generosity. Because of you and your gift of the Dental Mission Scholarship, l was able to experience a trip of a lifetime and fulfill a dream of mine of going on a dental mission trip. After being a dental hygienist for several years, then going to dental school recently, l was put into contact with a group heading to Jamaica and l knew right away I wanted to be on this trip! In August 2018, I traveled to Falmouth, Jamaica with a group of dental students and another dental hygienist, supervised by Dr. Stan and Mrs. Syd Hite, where we had the opportunity to to treat over 300 people over the course of 6 days.

During this trip, I realized how much the children really pulled at my heart strings! We were able to provide children with their first dental experiences and give them a positive one! I enjoyed teaching the children how to take care of their teeth, as well as discussing with parents about how to prevent dental decay by both oral hygiene and diet. It broke my heart to see young children with extensive caries that could have been prevented, yet l was grateful to be able to provide treatment to them.

Many events throughout the week stuck with me, but one stands out the most. That is the gratefulness of the people. One man toId me, “When you all come, the people here light up like a Christmas tree.” Throughout the week we were able to provide dental care to the young and the old. We relieved many of pain. and most importantly we educated this community on the importance of oral health and provided them access to care they normally would not receive. It opened my eyes to true poverty and how blessed I am to be able to have a career where l can make a difference. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to help so many!

Sincerely,
Rachael Gore, RDH
UMKC School of Dentistry
DDS Class of 2021