It’s almost that time of year! Now that the holidays are behind us, ASDA is looking forward to Week of Service, taking place Jan. 17-23. This is a time for ASDA chapters across the country to engage in community service challenges and celebrate giving back.
When I started at Meharry Medical College, I decided to dedicate my time at the first volunteer event they hosted: the Mt. Zion Back-to-School Event. We provided 38 free screenings and care to both children and adults. From this moment on, I was inspired to continue my journey in serving those less fortunate than myself.
I grew up on an acre of land with fruit trees, a massive vegetable garden and just a few animals to care for. While it may sound like I grew up with a luxury many lack, the reality is that my family of 14 was hardly scraping by. We used public help services from time to time, although my parent’s philosophy was to “only take what you need.”
During middle school, I participated in my neighborhood’s Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program in the San Francisco Bay Area. The program was designed to encourage younger individuals to take charge of their moral and intellectual growth, while contributing to the well-being of society at the same time.
Once a month, I used to walk from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine down Washington Street to the New England Center and Home for Veterans to serve dinner. Although the vaccine offers new hope, in-person outreach is still on hold for Tufts ASDA. Most dental students enjoy giving back.
October is Campus Sustainability Month, and over the past week, the ASDA Council on Professional Issues has presented a blog series exploring various aspects of sustainability. So far, we’ve discussed clinic sustainability and personal sustainability, and provided a printable PDF flier to help you spark ideas for your school’s clinic.
As dental students, we are uniquely positioned to give back to our communities in various ways. We can join with a few friends, our entire class or, during ASDA’s Week of Service, with thousands of other dental students to volunteer.