A full time UMKC pre-dental student, Bea has donated nearly 200 hours of service to Smiles Change Lives (SCL). She is a shining example of the devoted men and women who contribute their support to further our mission of bracing kids for a better future. Bea shares her inspiring journey and passion for dentistry that takes her from her home in Abilene, KS, to Chicago, to Kansas City and UMKC pre-dental school!
Bea moved to Chicago in 2011, leaving her home in Abilene, KS, to attend Loyola University. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of English degree.
“I graduated feeling like many people do, not really knowing what to do or where I fit. Literature and writing was always my first love, even though I had a knack for the sciences and especially chemistry. After many years of internships, jobs, and experiences, I felt a little lost. I was living in an amazing city, with great friends, but something was still missing. So….
In 2016, after grappling with the idea of going back to school to pursue a degree in chemistry and applying to dental school, I took the big leap, packed up my life, moved to Kansas City, MO and enrolled at UMKC. I was amazed at how perfectly things fell into place for me. I’m currently in the thick of my chemistry degree, preparing to apply for dental school this summer, working as an assistant in a dream periodontal office, Fay Periodontics, and feeling very lucky that I found something I am so passionate and excited about!”
What compelled you to volunteer for SCL?
“I was looking for a long-term volunteer opportunity to help build up my dental school application, but what I found was something so much more special. Not only have I made deeply valuable and beautiful personal connections with SCL staff, but I’ve been able to get a taste of what it feels like to truly change lives, one smile at a time. That is the reason I know I was meant to become a dentist, and hopefully in the future, an ardent SCL provider and partner. I am so proud to say that I am an SCL volunteer.”
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not in school, working or volunteering?
“I am a sucker for British literature. When I do have free time, I love reading, playing the piano, wheel throwing ceramics, gardening, antiquing, and traveling. I must say my job as an assistant in a periodontal office, though it is work, is one of the great joys I have found since moving to Kansas City. When you find something that you love and excel at, not only is it no longer “work,” but it makes you feel more like yourself, like your best self.”
What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering for SCL?
“I feel so lucky to volunteer for such an inspiring, amazing, and truly important organization, and encourage others to do the same. You will be captivated and moved by the work SCL does. Be prepared to feel immense pride and gratitude when you see the children’s lives you’ve had a hand in changing. Volunteering for SCL gives me all the purpose I need to continue the pursuit of my dream.”
SCL is very fortunate to have Bea on our Smile Support team. We are very grateful for her continued dedication and support to Smiles Change Lives!
If you are interested in learning more about SCL’s volunteer “Smile Support” team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org