Aracely in bright pink scrubs
Aracely and her team of fellow dental hygienists have been busy all year helping to root out cavities in Bolivia. She and the other students have been serving to help screen indigenous children at a community of miners outside Cochabamba, Bolivia. Aracely has also been doing her internship with a woman dentist.
Soon Aracely will be back at the Smiles Forever school for dental hygienists to complete her exams and become accredited to work full time with a dentist. She has had a remarkable story. Aracely was virtually abandoned by her family when her parents died, and she lived in an orphanage. Smiles Forever discovered this bright and personable student, and it has been our pleasure to see Aracely grow over two years time. We noticed how she has an affinity for working with the poorest of the poor. She has loved her special assignments to primitive jungle villages to help gauge early enamel wear. The people she has become friends with are some of the oldest societies on the planet.
Smiles Forever considers Aracely to be a shining star and also a guiding star for the newer students doing the dental hygiene program.
"Aracely jumps into everything with both feet. She really is fearless, and I wish you could all see her jump in and out of a canoe to travel the waterways in the villages of the Bolivian jungle. She is returning to these people who compare her to a lively monkey with the fondest of nicknames." Sandy Kemper, Founder of Smiles Forever
Aracely responds, "I am so excited to be returning to the villages this summer. I will be reunited with my friends and I know I will make many more friends when I travel to more little communities. I like seeing the critters who come right up into their courtyards and houses. I love making the people, especially the children, feel better and avoid pain by helping check for cavities and telling them about dental care."
Introducing Smiles Forever New Board Member Virginia
Virginia has been behind the scene helping Smiles Forever both plan and execute the funding campaigns for GlobalGiving Bonus days. Virginia and Aracely have something in common: they both have had up-close experiences with possums! Virginia has had a connection with the Shoreline Community College for over 20 years, and thus she became familiar with the trips the college made to Bolivia to help join the Smiles Forever school in operating clinics and for doing field clinics. Virginia says, "I admire how the students find such meaningful education, and how this dental hygienist training gives back by helping so many in the indigenous community. I became closely acquainted with Sandy and all the Smiles Forever family, and I am so impressed with the way each year the program builds. How could I say no when Sandy asked me to serve on the board?"
Join Virginia on June 15th beginning at 6:00 a.m. Seattle time to donate on 50% Matching Bonus Day!
Bolivian jungle possum
Bolivian girl in pink with pigtails
Aracely polling the river in Bolivian Amazon
Virginia's possum posing for close-up