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Tayla Cunningham

Scholarship Type: 
DTA Foundation/Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation
University of North Carolina School of Dentistry

It may not seem obvious at first, but a background as a competitive dancer helped Ms. Cunningham in her dentistry career because through dance she learned leadership skills, the drive to excel and a commitment to achieving a goal. All of those have shaped her vision of the dental career she’d like to have after graduation.

“I would eventually like to set up a practice in a rural area, increasing access to care to those who are limited,” she said. “Additionally, I will continue to be involved with clinics similar to the SNDA CAARE Clinic in which I have the opportunity to provide free dental care to the uninsured on a consistent basis. There is a lot of work to be done in the field of dentistry with regard to proper access for all, but there is so much that we can do for our communities now as dental providers. I have taken, and will continue to take the opportunity to serve my community and contribute in whatever ways I can to close the gap. Being involved in community service has shaped who I am as a dental student and who I will be as a provider. I am committed not only to lifelong learning in the field that I love, but also to lifelong service to the community in which I am a part of.”