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Q&A with 2017 Scholarship Winner Mannhu Iglesias

DTA Foundation Scholarship Recipient Mannhu Iglesias, West Virginia University School of Dentistry

Dental school is a very busy endeavor, why did you decide to commit so much of your time to helping the community?
I started doing community service since I was very young and it has become a part of my life. Because of my busy schedule in dental school, I do not have many opportunities to do community service as usual. However, I can still dedicate a few hours a month. I find that helping the community provides time for self-reflection and motivates me to want to be a better person.

What is your favorite community volunteer activity?
My favorite community volunteer activity is global health. I love to travel to different countries and provide dental care. I am exposed to cultural diversity, and it broadens my fund of knowledge. What is amazing is that there is so much to learn about the world. The more you go out of your own comfort zone, the more you realize that you are just a small particle in this enormous universe.

Why do you think it’s important for the oral health profession to come together and support the community like you are doing now?
The primary reason is that there is a misunderstanding of the importance of dental care in medicine. Many people fail to realize that oral health is a part of systemic health. Our job as dental healthcare providers is to educate about the importance of oral healthcare and the important role it has on overall health.

How will having this scholarship help you as you finish school?
I am an out-of-state student who will have an enormous amount of school debt. It will take me many years to pay it off. The financial stress is an ordeal to any professional student, especially for a mother like me. I have a small child to take care of, and this scholarship has helped me tremendously in months of expenses. It helps me to focus more on school and dedicate to school work.

Is there a message you’d like to pass along to the people who donate to the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and make these scholarships possible?
I would like to thank all the generous donors for this scholarship. It is a great help and a great encouragement to me as a student. Going through dental school is very challenging and can be overwhelming at times. Receiving a scholarship is like receiving a confirmation and reassurance that I am doing well in school. It has brought me happiness, positive thoughts and motivation to be a better student. Thank you very much.

ne who made this scholarship possible!