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Dental Student Outreach Project Helps Underserved Teens

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Written by Adam Zewe

A group of dental students helped underserved teenagers improve their oral health and build confidence as part of a Dec. 13 outreach event sponsored by the University Student Government Association.

The students provided oral cancer screenings and dental hygiene instructions to teenagers involved in Project Search, a program of the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services that helps prepare high school students with developmental disabilities for employment after high school. "If we can get these students motivated to take care of their oral health now it could benefit them for the rest of their lives," remarks Matthew Goodrich, DDS '15, who organized the event.

During the hour-long program, the dental students also offered resume critiques and acted as mock interviewers for about 20 Project Search students. One goal of the program was to help the teenagers develop stronger interpersonal skills. Dental students shared academic advice and offered encouragement to the Project Search students.

For Morgan Barker, DDS '15, it was rewarding to be able to help underserved high school students learn about their oral health. The event also served as an educational experience for Barker and her dental student peers. "This is a great way for me to gain experience working with different populations and different types of patients," she says.

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