Solomon M. Morrow
Lovin Elementary School
Pickneyville Middle School
Pickneyville Middle School
Dana De La Parra
Solomon M. Morrow
With asthma, Solomon uses a breathing machine with medications that have worn down his teeth. He has had and still needs some expensive dental work, which has proven financially challenging for his aunt and caregiver.
De’ja and her family moved from Baltimore about two years ago, but the orthodontic care she received there was not transferable to Georgia. She is heading to high school next year and, as such, completing her orthodontic treatment will no doubt give her a boost of confidence.
As she expressed in a recent poem, “Just because my teeth are crooked, doesn’t make me less beautiful. It makes my smile unique. Beauty doesn’t have to be perfect.” While she is coping well with her situation, Nicoli’s self-confidence will get a boost from the orthodontic work and give her the smile she deserves.
There are many times My’Teiz has been embarrassed to smile because his teeth are shifting to the left. The orthodontic work he needs was ruled out as too costly for his family. This free service will boost his confidence and give him the beautiful smile he deserves.
An honor roll student, this fourth grader is an avid writer, school chorus singer and Peer Leader. After a recent and sudden loss of Jennifer’s close family member, the family has sought counseling and free grief support camp opportunities for her. Jennifer’s parents are also financially challenged. The guidance counselor who nominated her said she is a remarkable girl and very deserving of this gift.
At 12 years old, Jordan is a great student who gets good grades, is a basketball star and has been Student of the Month. He has overcrowded and crooked teeth but manages to keep smiling every day. He has asked for braces and has had several orthodontic appointments, but his family has been unable to afford them. He and his family are grateful for this gift.
Thirteen-year-old Madeline is too self-conscious to smile for the camera. She also experienced recent family issues, including a family member who moved into the household after a medical emergency. Yet, she has maintained a sense of humor and enjoys helping others. Her parents are excited that GSO is giving her a winning smile to match her cheerful personality.
Free braces will soon also help Damian Soler, 13. Soler lives in Decatur, but comes from Gwinnett. His teeth prevent him from being able to close his mouth while he sleeps. As a result, he suffers from constant sore throats. Soon, he’ll be able to sleep peacefully.
Savien Cox, a fifth-grader from Lawrenceville, will also be able to fix his orthodontic problems thanks to GSO. Cox is a happy kid who loves to smile, but suffers from low-self esteem over his teeth. Soon, braces will help him overcome those insecurities.
Dacula resident Sierra Henson, 14, was one of the children selected to receive free orthodontic care, which will include appliances, braces, retainers and more at no cost. Henson is a straight A student enrolled in AP and gifted classes. Because of a family member’s expensive medical costs, it seemed like Henson wouldn’t be able to receive orthodontic care.
Eight year old Gift of a Smile winner Roman Lara attends the Michelle and Barack Obama Academy in Atlanta. His favorite subject is math and his favorite color is blue. Roman enjoys playing soccer, learning tennis, and anything that has to do with art. He also enjoys playing with his adopted dog Savannah.
Roman’s mother Sandra expressed what it means for her son to receive the gift of a smile: “The gift of a smile means a lot to us. He’s excited to smile and not feel self-conscious. Also after going through a very difficult time, the financial impact of it, knowing that this is one less thing I have to worry about is a huge relief.”
Eleven year old Camilo Benitez resides in Alpharetta Georgia. His mother Angela nominated him for the gift of a Smile program and was elated to find out that her son had won the contest to receive complimentary orthodontic care.
An excerpt from Camilo’s nomination story: "What you would do would be a blessing and a great help especially for my son. I am the mother of Camilo and we have tried to raise the money to start his treatment, however, something always happens that we must allocate the money to other needs. With everything going on in the world today I see him every day more distant. I am distressed to see that he has grown more but the damage to his smile may be irreversible. He is such a cute and tender child that I feel sad not to be able to help him.”
Eleven year old Pjaye Phinisee of Atlanta, Georgia was one of four lucky children selected to win complimentary orthodontic treatment through the Gift of a Smile program. She was nominated by her mother Della who submitted a heartwarming and touching story about her daughter and the love, care, and support she shows her daily. We are honored to award Pjaye with a beautiful, healthy smile.
Sixteen year old Lawrelle of College Park, Georgia attends the Tri-Cities High School of East Point. Her favorite subject is Physics and her favorite color is Navy blue. Lawrelle enjoys making jewelry and styling hair. She was nominated by several family members and friends and we were touched by every story that was submitted about Lawrelle.
An excerpt from Lawrelle’s nomination story: “Your smile is the first thing that people notice about you. With that being said, every child deserves to have a healthy, beautiful and straight smile. My daughter, Lawrelle, does not believe she has one. As she got older, it was unfortunate that her smile had transformed to the point where she didn't want to smile. I started noticing her smiling more and more with her mouth closed. She finally mustered up enough courage to let me know how she felt about the condition of her teeth. Most kids don't want braces, but Lawrelle is begging for them…It is no doubt that Lawrelle will benefit from receiving braces. This will definitely help up build her self-worth. It will also prevent other health issues from occurring and her speech will improve. “
Dana De La Parra