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Q&A with 2017 Scholarship Winner Taylor Vracar

DTA Foundation/Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation Recipient Taylor Rae Vracar, University of Florida

“My practice will be centered around a connection I have with a missionary from India. His name is Missionary Sam and he is part of an organization called Life for the Innocent. Missionary Sam and Life for the Innocent rescue children who would normally be sold into the child sex and labor slavery industry and aids in their rehabilitation as they recover from the traumatic experiences they have endured,” Vracar said. “This organization is committed to not only rescuing children from a life of abuse and providing shelter, food, clothing, medical attention, and education, but they are also completely devoted to presenting the children with the gift of salvation and hope that comes from Jesus Christ. “

Dental school is a very busy time, why did you decide to commit so much of your time to helping the community?

I have committed my life to following my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Mark 10:25, He says, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." I want to live a life that is a reflection of His, so if He was willing to give His life for others, then the very least I can do is serve others with every opportunity I am given.

What is your favorite community volunteer activity?

I absolutely love volunteering at the Special Olympics, where I perform oral screenings and provide oral hygiene instructions to the athletes there as a part of their Healthy Athletes/Special Smiles program. Having the opportunity to be a part of this exciting day in their lives is a very humbling and joyous experience.

Why do you think it’s important for the oral health profession to come together and support the community like you are doing now?

One of my favorite songs is called "Do Something" by Matthew West. It talks about a man's frustration with all of the hardships in this world and him crying out to God saying, "God, why don't You do something?!", to which God brilliantly replies, "I did, I created YOU!" As oral health professionals, we have been given such a unique opportunity to obtain a set of skills and knowledge that only a very small percentage of the population has. We should therefore come together to "do something" with these skills and this knowledge to serve our community in a way that the majority of the population is unable to do.

How will having this scholarship help you as you finish school?

As of July 2nd, 2016, my student loan debt doubled. I married my husband, who is also in my graduating class. We both have the same heart to love and serve others, so this incredible contribution to help ease our financial burden will enable and empower us to pour more time, energy, and finances towards our mutual desire to serve others through our profession.

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?

Thank you for showing us an example of what it looks like to serve and to be generous. We are incredibly grateful for each of you and we appreciate your service to us. It is an absolute honor to have received a scholarship from your donations to the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and I will strive to reflect the precedence you have set.