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Saving Smiles

As if the course load of a pre-dental student at UGA is not enough, junior member of Alpha Omicron Pi, Natalie Nuckolls, has taken her passion for dentistry to a whole new level, by pairing it with another passion of hers, helping those in need. Last spring break, Natalie packed her scrubs rather than her bikini, and headed south to Panama, South America, where she helped provide dental care to underserved communities. Natalie and her team gathered and distributed over 400 toothbrushes, toothpastes, and other basic hygienic products that many people in that part of the world had never had access to before. Through this experience, Natalie gained the connections and resources she needed to bring this type of mission to UGA, and she has now started the first branch of the nonprofit Saving Smiles UGA. Along with the other member on her executive board, Natalie has recruited almost 40 UGA students to join the organization, which plans to reach neglected communities and provide knowledge and equipment needed to achieve and maintain proper oral hygiene. These dedicated students will also be organizing clinics to provide dental care to those communities, as well as providing scholarships to other UGA students that wish to serve on international trips during Spring Break, just like Natalie did. Natalie has formed this awesome, impactful organization from the ground up, even hosting meetings in the chapter room at AOII! Natalie's dedication and service has and will impact so many deserving people, and in the future, she will undoubtedly be that dentist that children don't even mind visiting.

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