Success Stories

Smiles Change Lives … Helping Families With The Cost Of Braces & Changing Lives One Smile At A Time

  • alumni success stories for smiles change lives
  • kid success stories for smiles change lives
  • success stories for smiles change lives
  • parent success stories for smiles change lives
  • orthodontist success stories for smiles change lives


april review of smiles change lives

“When you don’t feel comfortable about your smile, you hold yourself back; it is extremely detrimental to your self-esteem. This is what I experienced before being blessed by Smiles Change Lives and the braces they provided.People have told me that my smile can brighten their day. A feature I used to cover us can now bring happiness to others, and for that I am most grateful.
I can’t thank SCL and Dr. Kimberley Jones-Rudolf and her staff enough for changing my life by straightening my smile!”

– April, SCL alumnus

rashaunna review of smiles change lives

“I don’t know what would have happened had I not been fortunate enough to be a part of an organization that provides affordable orthodontic treatment for kids who need it most. I was eight when I began getting orthodontic treatment with various treatments, headgear, expander, etc. I got my braces at age 14 and wore them for two years. I’m now 24 and my smile plays a big part in my confidence level.One of the first things people notice when they see you, is your smile. I can honestly say that when people compliment me on my smile, and I think about what it took to get it, I feel really good about myself. Smiles Change Lives definitely made a difference in my life.For me, it gave me a chance to live life confidently.”

– Rashaunna P., SCL alumnus

rahab review of smiles change lives

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to create my true smile. I’m the kind of person who loves to smile, but before braces I wouldn’t because my teeth were so crooked. Now I have beautiful teeth and I can smile with 100% pride! I want to thank SCL from the sincerest part of my heart because you really did change my life. Smiles Change Lives is the perfect name for your organization! Who would have thought that a simple smile can change the world?
I wish you all the best and thank you again for your wonderful program. “

– Rehab, 2009 Alumnus

sofia review of smiles change lives

“Dear Smiles Change Lives,
My name is Sofia Delgado, and I am a 15 year old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was enrolled in the SCL program 2 years ago, and I recently got my braces off (yay!). I wanted to thank you for giving me a chance to get affordable braces because it will impact the rest of my life. Before I got my braces on I had extreme crowding in my lower teeth, and two of my upper teeth grew in above the rest like little fangs. My mom liked to say that I had vampire teeth on the top and shark teeth on the bottom, so I was lucky that she found your program. All the staff in Griffin Orthodontics (West Allis, WI) were so kind to me, and I never once felt like a charity case there. Even my mom quickly made friends with the ladies at Griffin Ortho. I knew I were in good hands, and they got my teeth straightened quickly and efficiently. I never dreaded going to the orthodontist like I thought I would. I’ve gotten so many compliments on my new smile recently, but I still miss my braces just a little bit because they made it so pleasant. Thank you again for the opportunity to get a better smile! I’m a very happy and smiley person, so it will definitely not go to waste.
Gratefully yours,

– Sofia Delgado

victoria review of smiles change lives

“When I was 17 years old, it was very important for me to have braces. The huge gap between my two front teethkept me from laughing, smiling and kept my confidence low. My mother was employed with at the UMKC dental school for 30 plus years, and has since retired. She heard of SCL in 2000 (when it was called The Virginia Brown Community Foundation) through her employer.
Having braces gave me a major boost in my self-confidence and helped me to strive for more in life, in academics and in my career. Having braces motivated me to open up and share all that I have to offer to my friends, family and community. I attribute much of my success to being blessed with the opportunity to get braces.”

– Victoria

michael review of smiles change lives

To everyone involved with the SCL program,

Thank you from the depths of my heart for your generosity. My dentist had recommended that I get braces for years, but my family couldn’t even begin to consider affording them. My teeth were in really bad shape, and were going to cause me all sorts of problems later in life. I was about 13.

But then Virginia Brown and Smiles Change Lives stepped in. I was able to get my teeth straightened by one of the best orthodontists in the metro area. ‎I can’t even begin to explain in words the effect this had on my high school life. Teenagers can be mean, and it was a hard enough time without being “the kid with the weird teeth,” too.

My braces were removed my senior year. I sit‎ here looking through old pictures almost 15 years later, and can truly say that my life was changed by those braces. My smile is confident and relaxed, and my teeth are healthy. People are constantly telling me that my smile is one of my best features. It may have even helped me meet my wife (she’ll tell you it did, anyway)!

I now have my own child, and my heart melts when I look at pictures of our family smiling together. I only met Mrs. Brown once, but I was young and didn’t feel as though I was able to thank her sufficiently. So thank you to every single person that was and is involved with your wonderful organization. ‎ You are truly changing lives.

– Michael Rogers, SCL alumnus


josh review of smiles change lives

“Having straight teeth would mean a lot to me because deep down I just really don’t like the way that I look when I smile, making me keep my mouth closed much of the time. This leads others to think that I’m a quiet, judgmental, broody person, which in fact I am just scared to get teased and made fun of.”

– Josh

kenedi review of smiles change lives

“My experience with Dr. Markarian has changed my life. Since I have gotten my braces, I have really seen a lot of improvement. Before I had braces, I never wanted to smile on my pictures because I felt my teeth looked really bad. I got my braces in January of this year and now not only have I seen a big difference, other people have too. I like it when people say my teeth look pretty. Without the help of Dr. Markarian my teeth wouldn’t be straight and I wouldn’t have a smile on my face all the time! Dr. Markarian is a very nice, caring, and smart person. He made me feel so welcome when I met him. He not only showed me that he can make me smile, but that he can spread happiness to children like me! I am so happy now that my teeth are straight, my gap is now closed and I can finally smile without being embarrassed! Thank you Dr. Markarian!!! I really appreciate everything you have done for me!”

– Kenedi Jenkins

nathan review of smiles change lives

“I would like to thank everyone at Smiles Change Lives and Dr. Burleson for the opportunity to have braces and to correct my smile. Dr. Dustin Burleson and his staff were very kind to me throughout the process. I feel very lucky to have been selected for such a wonderful program. Who knows what my smile would have been like without these braces? This opportunity has been a true blessing for my entire family.
I am really grateful for my braces.I have been more willing to smile with friends, family and in pictures. It has certainly made me a more confident person. My life is very different now as I feel much better about myself.
I can focus on boy scouts and band and making the world a nicer place. I also have two new roles this year, one is being a member of my middle school’s student council. The second is that I help facilitate a youth group at my church for 5th and 6th graders. In both of these roles, I have to speak to groups of students and my confidence in my smile really helps me when speaking to them.
Smiles Change Lives is an amazing program that helps so many kids have brighter futures. I am so proud and honored to be a participant. Thank you!”

– Nathan W.

maggie review of smiles change lives
tanner review of smiles change lives


review of smiles change lives

I was searching around on the Internet and found your program. I feel like a good smile can do so much for a young kid. I feel like their confidence can shoot up when they don’t have to worry about people looking at their teeth they can’t fix. Sometimes I see kids with great ideas or a great work ethic but have really bad teeth. I’ve always wondered what I could do to help these kids.

– Tanner James, 2016 donor


mandy review of smiles change lives

I cannot thank your program enough for what you have done for my daughter.

As a paraplegic and single mother of two, I had no idea how I would be able to afford braces my beautiful daughter Hailey desperately needed. The severity of her teeth went far beyond cosmetic. She was bullied, teased, and humiliated because of her extreme overbite and bucked teeth. She covered her mouth when she smiled, held her head down, and often came home crying. Kids can be cruel; my heart broke for her daily.

By some miracle, I came across Smiles Change Lives, and Dr. Gregory Oppenhuizen! From the day she got braces she is so happy, doing well in school, and has a confidence that will carry her far in life.

– Mandy

review of smiles change lives

“I received the approval letter from Smiles Change Lives for my daughter and now her braces will not cost me the thousands that I couldn’t afford! I am so thankful for Smiles Change Lives for helping a struggling mother out. What an amazing program that helps families!”

jazi review of smiles change lives

When I come upon a pre-treatment picture of my daughter Jazi’s teeth, it makes me sad at the thought of her having gone through her life without treatment.I will always be grateful for the care and concern that Dr. Mantel and his staffextended to us. Today, WhenJazi smiles I nudge my husband and say, “look at those beautiful teeth” Her new smile is radiant!
Thanks to all of you working at Smiles Change Lives. We are so thankful to you all!

– Jazi’s mom, Elisa

pamela review of smiles change lives

On behalf of myself and daughter Isabella, please accept our deepest thanks for a life changing experience for my daughter. She smiles all the time now and has a sense of confidence I’ve never seen before. To everyone responsible please know that you have helped another child regain a huge part of herself back. She may go on to change the world in a better way now; just like SCL did for her.

Blessing and honor to you ALL.

– Pamela

dolores review of smiles change lives

“I’m sending a couple updated pics of Sebastian – one with Dr. Nurko before his braces were removed and one with his braces off. Sebastian is SO happy with his new smile and has been doing great wearing his retainers at night time along with his permanent retainers. Thank you SO much!”

– Dolores

devoine review of smiles change lives

“I just wanted to share some recent pictures of Duenna. As a mother it brings me so much pleasure to see her smiling without having to cover her mouth or hide her smile, hence, I’m smiling too. Duenna is such a picture of confidence.
She had only gotten her braces a month prior to graduation and was still embarrassed to smile.( I was kind of upset at her for those pictures, because she could at least smiled a little, but she was just too conscious about her crooked teeth) The other is in middle school. She did not take high school pictures, besides at the end. Now she smiles and laughs at everything as if to say she is making for all the times when she was embarrassed to, but I know it’s her new found confidence and its all thanks to Smiles Changes Lives. You have no idea the tremendous impact your generosity has had on our lives.”

– Devonie

sandra review of smiles change lives

“In the beginning when I found out about the program I had my doubts and thought it was just a scam and waste of time. Today I can say, ‘Thank God, I didn’t listen to my fear and decided to try it out.’ They definitely have changed my son’s life. It’s a great program who are truly helping out and making a difference in the world. The provider that was assigned to us is phenomenal and the team in that facility is amazing! Words are not enough to express the gratitude I feel towards this great program. God Bless all of you who are making this happen to children like my son who the state decided they couldn’t help out.”

– Sandra

cynthia review of smiles change lives

patty review of smiles change lives


dr carrie thangamani review of smiles change lives

“Everyone should have the ability to obtain a great smile. Smiles Change Lives provided a wonderful opportunity to align with families that truly value orthodontics. It also eliminates any of the administrative headaches involved with the new patient process, which was fantastic.”

– Dr. Carrie Thangamani

dr chris stansbury review of smiles change lives

“I chose to join Smiles Change Lives because that is exactly my mission in my work – changing lives through smiles. I am proud to have a program that gives someone in need of a healthy, beautiful smile the means to obtain it if they are unable to. Community service is of the utmost importance to me, and I love that Smiles Change Lives offers my practice yet another unique way to give back.”

– Dr. Chris Stansbury

dr damian fennig review of smiles change lives

“We decided to become a Smiles Change Lives provider to make a difference in the lives of kids in our area. Providing the gift of a beautiful, healthy smile is priceless.”

– Dr. Damian Fennig

dr keith kohrs review of smiles change lives

”We became part of Smiles Change Lives to simply give back to our community by giving the gift of a smile. We feel so fortunate to do what we love in our practice, so being able to give someone self confidence, inspiration and hope is a great feeling. We truly believe that there is nothing better than helping someone to smile with confidence”.

– Dr. Keith Kohrs

dr kelly toombs review of smiles change lives

“As a Smiles Change Lives provider, I recognize the impact of having an access-to-care program that allows orthodontists to help less fortunate children achieve a beautiful and functional smile.”

– Dr. Kelly Toombs, SCL Founding Orthodontist

dr mahtab review of smiles change lives

“Such an honor to be a part of this wonderful organization connecting orthodontists with deserving children, to give them the smiles they deserve! Looking forward to many years of great work together!”

– Dr. Mahtab

dr nellie kim weroha review of smiles change lives

“Tanner, who recently finished his treatment, is such a great kid and it’s so rewarding to see him smiling with confidence. His mother really appreciated all our efforts and she was in tears almost at every appointment showing how appreciative she was. Thank you guys for doing what you do!”

– Dr. Nellie Kim-Weroha

*The reviews on this page are from actual patients of Smiles Change Lives. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.


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