As director of the MDA Foundation, I anticipate our scholarship program every year. It is one of the main expressions of our mission, Improving Missouri Smiles. The funding comes from the generous support of members and MDIS. Thank you! Being able to assist students with the rising cost of dental school is a worthwhile investment in the profession’s future. It also is a challenge for the board to select just three winners. The competition is stiff and plentiful. This year we had 22 applicants!
The application is fairly simple. Because financial assistance seems to be a universal need, we tend to seek the studious applicant who displays current leadership engagement in school and can articulate their future and how organized dentistry plays a part in it. After much debate, the board selected three recipients. Allow me to briefly introduce them. Keep your eye open for these next generation leaders!
Joshua Coffey, MOSDOH 2018. From St. Charles, Joshua has a research bent in addition to extensive leadership roles. He won the NIH Summer Dental Student Award after an eight-week stint in Washington D.C. working with periodontists on the effects of chronic and genetic immunodeficiencies. He plans to return to the St. Louis area with his wife.
Isaac Dains, UMKC 2017. Isaac is from Appleton City in southwest Missouri. Involvement at the pre-dental level at UMKC fueled Isaac’s exposure and experience with service to children and underserved populations. He intends to return to Appleton City after graduation and is counting on the MDA to help him get established and stay connected to the profession.
Megan Sparks, MOSDOH 2018. Pursuing a Masters in Public Health as well as her DDS, Megan is passionate about prevention and school-based programs. She hopes to use her experience and leadership to help organized dentistry spread the prevention message as a means of empowerment to underserved populations. Megan is a native St. Louisian and likes photography. She had a winning entry in the Focus photography contest and was featured on a recent cover.
Congratulations to all three deserving MDAF Scholarship recipients and to the 19 runner ups. The future is bright based on the applicants we see. This marks a total of 75 scholarship recipients since the program began in 1999. The MDA Foundation with your support has awarded $201,000 in student assistance over that time. Nice work!