Mrs. Joyce McKenzie – 2017 Gini Award Honoree for Volunteer Excellence

SCL Volunteer Joyce McKenzie

“Excellence” is an understatement when describing Joyce McKenzie’s contribution to the mission of Smiles Change Lives. She began her volunteer service in the summer of 2011. Since then, Joyce has donated over 1600 hours of service, unprecedented in the history of SCL’s volunteer program. In 2013 Joyce was honored with the coveted Gini Award that recognizes individuals who go above and beyond in their service to SCL. This year, as SCL celebrates its 20th anniversary, we initiated the “Volunteer Excellence” award. With her exceptional work ethic and professionalism, it is only fitting that Joyce is honored as its first recipient.

What compelled you to volunteer for SCL?

“When I first discovered SCL, it sounded like a very worthwhile organization, and I decided to give it a shot. Volunteering means even more than I had hoped for when I began at SCL. Being part of such a productive, successful process gives me great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. I’d encourage others to become involved in SCL so they too can help to literally change lives.”


Tell us about yourself

“For 27 years I taught at the 2nd and 5th grade level for the Independence, MO school district and I loved my job. I felt it was a wonderful way to be involved in the shaping of the lives of our young people. It was a very fulfilling experience.

Since retiring in 2000, my husband Dallas and I share many interests with the typical retirees; we love to travel and have enjoyed many wonderful trips both domestically and internationally. We strive to stay physically fit by walking and riding bicycles. And, of course, we spend as much time as possible with our daughter, son in law and grandkids, plus the rest of our extended family.”

Since Joyce joined our team in 2011, over 6,000 children have either completed orthodontic treatment or are currently being treated through the SCL program. A large part of our success is due to remarkable individuals like Joyce who donate their valuable time to SCL’s “Smile Support” volunteer team. We simply could not do what we do without them.


“I cannot say enough wonderful things about our stellar volunteer – Joyce.  She is so reliable; I can set my watch by her! Joyce has an incredible attention to detail which is so very helpful to our organization.  Joyce arrives at our office every Wednesday and spends the entire day helping us process applications, and making sure our filing system is in order.  Then, if she’s caught up, she’ll ask what she can do next to assist us.  I really don’t know what we would do without her never-failing support of Smiles Change Lives!” – Lisa A. Shepard, Executive Director of Administration

We thank Joyce with all our hearts for her continued service to Smiles Change Lives!





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