The Georgia School of Orthodontics (GSO) has provided four children in the Atlanta area with complimentary orthodontic care through its Gift of a Smile program, which was established in 2016 to celebrate the grand opening of its Atlanta clinic.
Since its inception, GSO said, Gift of a Smile has provided free orthodontic care to 17 children in the Atlanta area as part of its pledge to provide $100,000 in complimentary orthodontic care to children who need braces but cannot otherwise afford them.
GSO received almost 400 nominations for the latest round of awards, which is the highest number of nominations the school has ever received.
“The Atlanta community has been immensely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are proud to give back to families in need,” said Dr. Randy Kluender, chairman and president of GSO’s board of trustees.
“Our mission of providing accessible orthodontic care is more important than ever right now, and our Gift of a Smile program is one of the ways in which we are proud to support our local communities,” Kluender said.
This year’s recipients include:
- Roman Lara, who is 8 years old, is from Atlanta and attends the Michelle and Barack Obama Academy. His favorite subject is math, and he loves playing soccer and tennis.
- Camilo Benitez is an 11-year-old from Alpharetta who attends Webb Bridge Middle School. He loves skating and has a YouTube channel he runs with his sister.
- Pjaye Phinissee, 11, is from Atlanta and attends the Fulton Academy of Science and Technology. She loves The Lion King as well as singing and dancing.
- Lawrelle Dolly is a 16-year-old from College Park who attends the Tri-Cities High School of East Point. She loves making jewelry and styling hair, and her favorite subject is physics.
The school said that its Gift of a Smile program is just one part of its mission to provide increased access to the highest-quality orthodontic care at a lower cost than private practice orthodontics.
GSO also offers the Purple Heart Smiles program, which provides free orthodontic care to the children of Purple Heart recipients. To date, GSO has provided more than 27 children of Purple Heart recipients with complimentary care.
Both programs combined have provided more than $150,000 in complimentary orthodontic care to Atlanta’s deserving children, GSO said.