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They Give: 2018 DTA Foundation Scholarship Winners Speak Out—Kayla Hanna

DTA Foundation scholarship recipient Kayla Hanna will be graduating from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 2019. Recently, we caught up with her and chatted about volunteer work and the DTA Foundation scholarship.

With all you’re already doing, how difficult is it to find the time to volunteer and why do you think it’s important?
It is challenging to find time to volunteer throughout the rigorous curriculum of dental school, but it remains a high priority in my life. Volunteering sparks my passion to serve others and motivates me to be a more engaged student, allowing me to persevere even when school has its challenges. It also keeps me grounded and focused on reaching my dreams of serving my community in the future.

What is your favorite type of volunteer work to do?
My favorite type of volunteer work involves dentistry as well as children. The organization I have spent countless days working with is Team Smile, which allows me to provide dental treatment to underserved children in the Kansas City metro area. It is inspiring to give children oral health knowledge and relieve them of pain.

What was your reaction when you found out you’d gotten a DTA Foundation scholarship?
My reaction when I found out I had received the DTA Foundation Scholarship was a smile from ear to ear. I have always worked hard to balance my education with service and it encouraged me to continue chasing my dreams to serve a community in the future.

How will having the scholarship make a difference to you?
The DTA Scholarship will allow me to focus less on the cost of my dental education and focus more on my education. This in turn will allow for more opportunity to give back to the community.

What would you like to say to the donors who make the scholarship possible?
I would like to say thank you for believing in me and my work. This scholarship will have a lasting impact on my life. I want to be a leader in my community and a role model for future generations to be service minded. This scholarship will help make that possible.

How are you planning to continue your volunteer work after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to continue working with the Team Smile organization and continue finding opportunities to volunteer in my community. I would also like to reach out and help with coaching sports teams and help with Special Olympics programs in the future.