My goal as a dentist is to not only treat and diagnose teeth in a comfortable and welcoming environment, but to also educate and reach out to my community. Giving back feels great but also means a lot to people who need the services. On Sep. 15th, 2014 I was invited to participate in the Bloomingdale Family Days Fair which is held annually by the Columbus Amsterdam BID. (www.)
I was able to set up a booth next to other medical practices in the neighborhood so it was nice to converse with other medical professionals. At my booth I offered free oral cancer screenings. Oral cancer screenings are especially important if you are a smoker. I stepped away from the booth a few times to give some of the children Xylitol lollipops. Xylitol is a natural occurring sugar alcohol, which doesn’t promote tooth decay. The best part is that parents can’t even tell the difference between a lollipop made of sugar and one of Xylitol. I even had parents come up to me and say “Are you SURE these don’t have sugar in them?” Xylitol is what I recommend to parents who tell me their child has a sweet tooth but want to make sure they don’t develop cavities.
It was such a beautiful day to have a street fair; the weather was perfect and the live band was excellent. I really enjoyed educating the community about oral health and the importance of regular dental check ups. Make sure to visit Columbusamserdambid.com for events happening from 96th-100th Street!
“I was thrilled to be given an opportunity to expose the students to the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the work field. I met a lot of smart and inquisitive students, I hope I inspired them to pursue their dreams.”
KIPP NYC is a network of free, open-enrollment public charter schools that prepare students for success in college and in life. I was thrilled to be invited to speak to the students attending KIPP NYC College Prep in the Bronx, NY. As a former teacher and the child of a mother who is now a retired teacher, I understand the importance of having mentors guide you through the ups and downs of high school and college.
Having programs such as KIPP College Prep is a great opportunity for students to have full access to the tools necessary for success. I was able to meet with other speakers who were equally as passionate about education and mentoring as I am. I spoke to a small group of students that were eager to hear my story and I was equally excited to tell them how I became a dentist and a teacher. I was asked about my reasons for becoming a dentist, how many years I was in school, if I still enjoy dentistry and how I plan to give back to my community.
I was very impressed by the attentiveness and inquisitiveness of my group. One student asked me if I ever wanted to give up while I was in dental school and I said yes! Dental school was the toughest 4 years of my life but I explained my determination and love of helping others did not stop me from achieving my goals. I remember telling them this “Yes, college can be tough but your college years will be the best years of your life. You might feel you want to give up but you have to remember that something worth having doesn’t come easy. You have to communicate and connect with people.”
It felt great to be given the opportunity to expose the students to the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the work field. I met a lot of smart and inquisitive students; I hope I inspired them to pursue their dreams. To learn more about KIPP NYC, please visit www.kippnyc.org
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