They Give: 2018 DTA Foundation Scholarship Winners Speak Out—Alex Rauchle
DTA Foundation scholarship recipient Alex Rauchle will be graduating from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in 2019. Recently, we caught up with her to chat about her volunteer work and the DTA Foundation scholarship.
What is your favorite type of volunteer work to do?
There are two types of volunteer work that I am particularly passionate about: educating children and mentoring pre-dental students. I have always loved working with kids, it is fun and entertaining and I also think that is where we can have the most influence. Children are very impressionable and the habits you help form early can set them up for a lifetime of dental health, and maybe even inspire them to pursue work in the health professions! I also love teaching pre-dental students, answering their questions, and helping guide them through what I have learned is a very strenuous path. I enjoy speaking with people who are passionate about what I am and are engaged and excited for what is ahead of them.
What was your reaction when you found out you’d gotten a DTA Foundation scholarship?
I was extremely honored and definitely very excited! Dental school is inordinately expensive and any contribution is that much more weight lifted off my shoulders (and even more considering interest!). I am paying for the entirety of my dental education in loans, so to have financial support makes me incredibly grateful, but additionally it makes me very proud. The fact that a complete stranger has seen what I have done and believes that I am deserving of their support is quite humbling and I am so thankful for both the financial contribution as well as the acknowledgement that means so much to me.
How will having the scholarship make a difference to you?
This scholarship makes a difference to me because I am paying for my education completely by myself with loans and have a tremendous deal of debt. This scholarship will mean that I won’t have to take out as much money, pay less in interest, and put me that much closer to paying off my debt as I finally start to practice and earn a living. Additionally it makes a difference to me because it tells me that someone out their values what I am doing, sees me as a worthy investment, and has chosen to use their generosity to support my education and goals.
What would you like to say to the donors who make the scholarship possible?
I want to give you my most sincere thank you for the scholarships that you have given through the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation! I cannot properly express my gratitude. Not only do these scholarships help tremendously financially and help relieve the financial and psychological stress of the immense loans associated with pursuing our dream careers, but it means so much to be recognized for the hard work that the recipients have put into becoming the best clinicians that we can be and helping the underserved in the community. Knowing that there are people out there who appreciate the efforts of so many dental students across the nation who value volunteerism and community outreach is reassuring, and your financial contribution to our careers is humbling. You have made many debt-burdened and passionate dental students very happy and very proud. Your generosity is tremendously appreciated and I want you to rest assured that you have helped individuals who are committed to a lifetime of volunteering, teaching, and spreading the gift of oral health. I am beyond grateful.