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Jun 10, 2022

ATLANTA (June 1, 2022) – Georgia School of Orthodontics (GSO) has awarded four additional metro-Atlanta children with complimentary orthodontic care through its Gift of a Smile program. GSO established the Gift of a Smile program in 2016 to celebrate the grand opening of its Atlanta clinic. Since its inception, the program has provided free orthodontic care to twenty-one children in the metro Atlanta area.

Recipients were nominated by individuals in their communities through GSO’s website and were selected based on need. The recipients are:

  • Raphael Immanuel, Marietta, is a rising freshman at Wheeler Magnet (STEAM) program and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. He volunteers at his church and several local charities, including Simple Needs GA, the organization that submitted his deserving story. He is a gifted musician (plays many instruments) and a member of the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra.
  • Ezra Johnson, Lawrenceville, is a shy, polite child who attends Couch Middle School. Despite battling liver disease, he is positive and brings joy to everyone that knows him. He loves playing basketball, drawing, and programming video games. His dental team nominated Ezra for this life changing experience so that his smile would match his spirit.
  • Deona Westbrooks, Snellville, is a thoughtful and caring 8th grader with a heart of gold and a personality to match. Each day she makes it a point to give out at least five compliments to people young and old. She was nominated by her mother, Christina, who submitted a heartwarming story about the love and support her daughter shows daily. Deona has always wanted straight teeth and we are excited to provide her with a healthy, confident smile.
  • Mackenzie Works, Duluth, attends Coleman Middle School and loves art, soccer and reading – her favorite author is Stephen King. Sweet, intelligent, and thoughtful, Mackenzie puts everyone’s needs above her own. Despite recent health challenges facing her brother, she has not missed a beat and continues to do well in school and her other activities all while being the best sister and daughter.

“Our children have so many obstacles they are facing on a daily basis. Insecurity about their smile absolutely should not be one of them,” said Dr. Randy Kluender, President & Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees. “It is amazing to speak with the recipients of our complementary care programs and see what a huge impact their orthodontic treatment has on their self-confidence and happiness. We are proud of the positive impact these programs have on our local communities, and will continue to offer them.”

“Receiving a beautiful, healthy smile is a BIG dream come true for Raphael,” said his mom, Agape Immanuel, who is a single, disabled mom. “This gift will give him confidence and the joy of laughing! Thank you GSO.”

For more information on the School’s Gift of a Smile program and the winners’ stories, please visit


Georgia School of Orthodontics (GSO) recently held a contest to give free braces to kids in need in metro Atlanta. Many online nominations later, GSO announces the following students are receiving free braces and orthodontic treatment through its Gift of a Smile program: Ezra Johnson of Lawrenceville, GA; Mackenzie Works, of Duluth, GA; Ralphael Immanuel of Marietta, GA and Deona Westbrooks of Snellville, GA. For more information on how you can receive free braces through Gift of a Smile, visit

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