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Maui student among 18 scholarship recipients of Hawaiʻi Dental Service Foundation : Maui Now


The Hawaiʻi Dental Service Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling $110,000 to 18 aspiring dental professionals, eight who want to be dentists and 10 who want to become dental hygienists.

They include one from Maui: Koushin Arceo of Wailuku.

“It’s exciting to help these young professionals follow their passion and to support their journey toward becoming dentists and dental hygienists so that our communities can have greater access to oral health care,” said Dr. Diane Paloma, president and CEO of the foundation. “These scholarships are an investment in our oral health. They will be our dental professionals to serve us and our children or grandchildren.”

The scholarship program began in 2018. This year, eight dental student received a $10,000 scholarship for tuition and other school-related costs. They are:

  • Kylie Carganilla, of Kalihi, a third-year dental student at Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon. This is Carganilla’s third HDS dental scholarship
  • Robert Mau, of East Honolulu, a third-year dental student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
  • Sophia Oak, of the Ala Moana area, a fourth-year dental student at Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is Oak’s fourth HDS dental scholarship over the past four consecutive years
  • Ciara Robinson, of Hilo, a fourth-year dental student at Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon
  • Lauryn Shinno, of Kailua, a first-year dental student at UCLA School of Dentistry in Los Angeles
  • Juliana Tomita, of Salt Lake, a second-year dental student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
  • Tyson Tonokawa, of Pauoa in Honolulu, a first-year dental student at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in Newark, New Jersey
  • Grace Wee, of Kaneohe, a first-year dental student at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco

Scholarship recipient Robinson said: “My first job after high school was as a dental assistant at a low-income, public health center on the Big Island. I have no family in dentistry or healthcare, but I had always known I would end up in a career where I could help others and somehow give back to my community.

“My first day, I almost passed out. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Fast forward a year later, and I was completely hooked. I saw just how important these services were for those in need and shortly thereafter I began my journey towards a career in dentistry, with a special interest in rural public health.”

The 10 dental hygiene students attending the dental hygiene program at the University of Hawaii’s Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing each received a $3,000 scholarship. The recipients are:

  • Koushin Arceo of Wailuku
  • Isaiah Castro of Kapiolani
  • Christine Joy Diza of Pāhoa, Hawaii Island
  • Tamia Hirano of Mililani
  • Maegan Abygail Laoag of Ewa Beach
  • Michelle Leung of Salt Lake
  • Amber Cassandra Lopez of Waipahu
  • Jane Jezeilyn Pascual of Waipahu
  • Shareena Lei Ramos of Waipahu
  • Cyndie Rayoan of Waipahu

Amber Lopez, one of the dental hygiene scholarship recipients, explained her reason for pursuing dental hygiene in her scholarship application:

“Growing up, I had an amazing dental hygienist who helped me to love going to the dentist,” she said “Years later, I still remember how she made me feel while sitting in the dental chair. Dental hygienists are the face of the dental office, and I too, hope to soon be that face of the dental office that helps patients to feel comfortable and welcomed at the dental office.”

Source: Maui News

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