Kool Smiles, a leading provider of quality dental care in underserved communities nationwide, announced the winner of its first annual My Kool Smiles Scholarship Fund essay contest, sponsored by the Benevis Foundation. The contest has been won by an Indian-American student Arth Patel, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry. Arth Patel earned a $5,000 scholarship for his winning essay on how dental health contributes to the wellbeing of children and families. The Runner Up Award has been given to Alex Marti.
A $5,000 scholarship is awarded to the winner whose essay on ‘how dental health can contribute to the well-being of families and children’ demonstrates excellence and meets all the criteria. In the essay, he has shared his own experience growing up in rural India where quality dental care was not available and how his family benefited from access to community-based dental healthcare programs after moving to the U.S.
The essay question reflected the idea that dental health can impact more than a child’s smile. This year’s winner is an excellent example of someone whose passion for service is rooted in a desire to make their community a better place.
Patel said, “I’m very excited to win the essay contest and to use the scholarship funds to further my education in dental school.” Further, he thanked Kool Smiles for supporting him in his professional journey to reduce dental health disparities among those in need.
Kool Smiles is also awarding a $500 book stipend to the dental health essay contest First Runner-Up, high school student Alex Marti. “My Kool Smiles Scholarship Fund is to support talented students who are passionate about making a difference in their communities” – said Dr. Dale Mayfield, Chief Dental Officer for Kool Smiles.
All the entries received were reviewed by a selection committee composed of managing staff members at Kool Smiles. The panel decides the winners on the basis of clarity of content (30%), originality and creativity (35%), and persuasiveness (35%).