What is Gift of a Smile Heroes?
GSO’s Gift of a Smile Heroes initiative was created to recognize adult heroes of all types in the Atlanta metro communities by giving them free braces or Invisalign® treatment. A Hero can be a working mom, a dad who coaches a sports team or a volunteer. And we cannot forget about our teachers, military and first responders. Heroes are nominated by individuals in their communities by completing a nomination form below. To celebrate the launch of the program, GSO awarded four adult heroes with complimentary orthodontic care and continues the program by selecting one hero recipient each quarter.
Since opening in 2016 GSO has provided over $250,000 in complimentary orthodontic care through Purple Heart Smiles, Gift of a Smile and now Gift of a Smile Heroes. We can’t wait to hear about your local hero, and the amazing impact they have had on our communities! Submit your Hero’s nomination by September 5 for our next quarterly contest winner to be announced September 30.
Congratulations Gift of a Smile Heroes Contest Winners!
Click on the Photos Below to Read Their Hero Stories
Congratulations to our June 2023 winner:
Thank you to all who nominated a deserving adult as we received an outpour of nominations and heartfelt stories.
Sergeant Rader has dedicated his life to serving his community and country. Born to two blind parents, he has spent countless hours volunteering with the blind community in Covington, Kentucky. He then joined the National Guard to continue his life of service, and served for thirteen years with two overseas deployments. In March of 2020, he was called upon to help our country fight the COVID-19 pandemic by serving on the Army’s COVID-19 task force. During his time on the task force, his unit’s tasks included disinfecting nursing homes, administering Covid-19 tests, and setting up and running testing sites. Despite his devotion to others, he has already felt insecure about his smile. His wife Erin explains, “Johnny lights up every room he enters, but he rarely smiles with an open mouth because he’s ashamed of his teeth. He has the most beautiful heart of anyone I have ever met. He just needs the beautiful smile to go with it.
Francisco Monreal, from Marietta, has been a patient of Georgia Smiles since 2013. We have watched him grow into the hero he has become today by being a firefighter for Cobb County Fire. He has been such a hero for us and the community while working in the front line during the pandemic. He always has a smile every time he comes into our dental office, what a better opportunity than to have a better smile when he comes in.
Yasmin who resides in Buford was nominated by her husband who calls his wife a hero. She currently is a frontline worker, a Certified Nursing Assistant and caregiver at The Oaks at Hampton in Cumming, GA. Going to school while being a wife and mom of a three-year old takes courage, but she wants to continue in the medical profession and is attending Altierus Career College in Surgical Technology. She never gives up and is working hard to achieve the goals & dreams for her and her family!
Romaldo “Tony” Hughes – Tony is a Dekalb County police officer who lives in Ellenwood. Not only has he served as a police officer for over twenty years, but he also supports his community. Tony has spent his free time and personal money mentoring youth and providing life coaching for adults. In addition, he has had to postpone his orthodontic treatment to fund his daughter’s college education. Tony is excited for his new smile, which he says will enhance his self-esteem as he remains on the front lines serving his community.
Kathryn Hanson – Kathryn, who resides in Buford, has spent the majority of her child and adult life caring for others. She served as her mother’s caretaker from the age of fifteen, sacrificing her young adult life to support her family. Her life is about giving back to her community – she has cared for and tutored young children, serves as her church’s soprano singer, and volunteers are various community organizations. She currently runs her own delivery business and is working on her bookkeeping certification. She has been self-conscious about her smile since youth, and her friends who nominated her believe that the gift of a new smile will be an amazing asset to her.
Isabel Nogues – Isabel, who lives in Flowery Branch, has served her community during the pandemic by working as an EKG Technician and Urgent Care Assistant. Her mother, who nominated Isabel, explains that she is a kind and compassionate person who pulls extra hours every week to help with the surge in COVID-19 cases. She was supposed to receive orthodontic treatment at the age of twelve, but financial circumstances prevented her from moving forward with her care. She is thrilled to receive the gift of a new smile from GSO.
Ashika Payne – Ashika is a teacher who resides in the East Point suburb of Atlanta. She works as a fourth-grade teacher at Gideons Elementary, and has worked with youth for over twenty-five years. Before serving as a teacher, she was Program Director at the Douglas County Boys and Girls Club. She has dedicated her life to helping her students, and is so grateful for the opportunity to have her teeth straightened.
We are excited to announce GSO’s March Gift of a Smile Heroes winner! Congratulations to Education Consultant, Alisha McGlawn. Alisha is an everyday Wonder Woman, mother of two wonderful boys, an educator, a parent/child advocate, and a budding entrepreneur who’s sense of community and fellowship is a true gift to all those she encounters! We are honored to provide her with the gift of a confident new smile!
We are excited to announce GSO’s July Gift of a Smile Heroes winner! Congratulations to Tashika Allen! Tashika was nominated by her daughter Keyana who calls her mom her personal hero who does what she can for anyone, whether she knows them or not. A survivor, Tashika has overcome many obstacles in her life all while putting her family first. We are honored to provide Tashika with the healthy, confident smile she deserves!
We are excited to announce GSO’s September Gift of a Smile Heroes winner! Congratulations to U.S. Army Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Vincent Gioielli! Vincent, a resident of Georgia, was medically retired from service in the U.S Army after getting wounded in Afghanistan leading a mission, spending 17 months in treatment, and being awarded the Purple Heart medal. Transitioning combat veterans have a long road to recovery in the transition from military service to becoming a civilian, which holistically includes all aspects of physical and mental health. A sense of belonging and transitioning into becoming a vital part of the community is an important part of the process, to which includes a healthy smile. We are honored to provide Vincent with the gift of a confident new smile. Congratulations Vincent, and thank you for your service and for being a hero!
We are excited to announce GSO's December Gift of a Smile Heroes Winner! Congratulations to Jennifer Deaton! Jennifer is a mother, friend, and elementary principal at Sugar Hill Academy of Talent & Career in Gainesville. She has worked in the Hall County School system for 27 years, and it is her mission to improve the lives of her students. When COVID-19 hit Georgia, Jennifer continued to serve the community despite losing her son to the virus. Knowing that many students got their main meal of the day at school, she rode the buses to deliver meals to her students' bus stops during the lockdown. “Just being able to see faces and hear voices so I can know where everybody was emotionally was important,” said Jennifer. “I say compassion before curriculum first, and then we’ll tweak the curriculum for next year.” She persisted through the hardest parts of the pandemic, and made sure that her students were still learning and taken care of. Jennifer has been giving smiles to her students for almost three decades, and we think she deserves to get a new smile of her own!
Congratulations to our quarterly Gift of a Smile Heroes winner Stephen McDowell! Stephen served in the US Military for 13 years and retired in 2008 with the rank of E6 Staff Sergeant. Stephen has three children: Dylan, 17, Bella 13, and Jay 7. His hobbies include coaching his youngest son’s baseball team and his daughter’s softball team. When he’s not coaching, Stephen also enjoys archery hunting. A hero for his service to our country, Stephen lists his father as his personal hero for instilling in him at a young age that when you work hard anything is possible.
Congratulations to our quarterly Gift of a Smile Heroes winner Amber Walden-Fall! Amber is a mother of four who is in the middle of transitioning from victim to survivor of domestic violence which has taken a toll on her confidence in many sectors of her life. She is hoping that the Gift of a Smile will help her garner more confidence and enable her to reach out for bigger and better opportunities that will change the trajectory of her family’s future. Amber stages airbnb’s and drafts landscapes, her hobbies include cooking, singing, designing, and all things equestrian. Her goal is to one day open up an Equestrian airbnb. We commend Amber’s bravery for sharing her story and are honored to provide her with a confident, healthy smile.
Gift of a Smile Heroes was recently featured in the AJC and Gwinnett Magazine!
Nominate Your Community Hero by September 5, 2023.
Quarterly winner will be announced on September 30, 2023.
To enter, share a compelling story of why you think they deserve to have a beautiful, healthy smile!
*ALL FIELDS MUST BE COMPLETED TO SUBMIT NOMINATION.
Terms And Conditions:
- One (1) recipient will not be selected at random or by chance
- Entries close at midnight EST on September 5, 2023
- Finalists must be able to complete a consultation and diagnostic exam by September 12, 2023
- Recipient will be announced by September 30, 2023
- By entering you agree to join the Georgia School of Orthodontics’ mailing, e-mail, and text marketing lists
- Must be eighteen years of age or older to nominate individuals