Encouraging students to practice in Hawaii
Sponsored by Hawaii Dental Service
Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) Foundation has recently established the Hawaii Dental Service Community Scholarship program for local students studying dentistry and dental hygiene in Hawaii, or on the mainland, to encourage them to practice dentistry in the islands.
“We want to encourage local students to study dentistry or dental hygiene, and hopefully practice in Hawaii, providing quality oral health care for Hawaii’s families is a priority for us and our state,” says Mark Yamakawa, president and CEO at HDS. “In our first year, we’ve awarded $35,000 in scholarships, and we’re hoping to award even more next year.”
By awarding these brilliant students, HDS hopes they will practice dentistry within our island communities and become participating dental providers with HDS, the largest network in the state.
“We want to ensure that we have dentists and dental hygienists providing quality dental care for our members for years to come,” Yamakawa says. “This scholarship is a way for us to address the shortage of dentists on the neighbor islands and the oral health disparities that exist in various communities.”
The criteria for scholarship recipients are Hawaii residents who:
1) Graduated from a Hawaii high school and have enrolled in a Hawaii or mainland school as a dentistry or dental hygiene student
2) Demonstrate financial need
3) Maintain a GPA of 2.8 or higher
Kiana Marie Soliven is from the island of Kauai and is a first-year dental hygiene student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The Hawaii Dental Service Community Scholarship program has provided her the opportunity to pursue higher education.
“As a single mother, I stress out about having to pay for my classes and make a living,” Soliven says. “Thanks to HDS Foundation, I can reach my goal of becoming a dental hygienist. This type of support motivates me to work harder in school, and it’s satisfying knowing my success is supported by an organization that values good oral health care in our islands.”
Students can learn more about the Hawaii Dental Service Community Scholarship at HDSFoundation.gives.