DSO’s Foundation Awards Dental Assistant Scholarships

DSO Spotlight

The Pacific Dental Services® (PDS) Foundation announced the Spring 2024 Dr. Carolyn Ghazal Dental Assistant Scholarship recipients, a remarkable group of 13 dental assisting (DA)
students who collectively received over $45,000 to help cover tuition expenses.

The scholarship comes at an important time in the dental industry. According to a recent report from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, the dental industry is currently experiencing a significant workforce shortage, with vacant dental assisting positions contributing to a 10 percent reduction in dental practice capacity nationwide. Moreover, financial hardship often prevents many enrolled DA students from finishing school.

Recognizing the importance of DAs to the future of dentistry, the PDS Foundation created this scholarship to provide students with the financial support they need to complete their education. Named after Carolyn Ghazal, DDS, a member of the PDS Foundation Board of Directors, this educational scholarship provides DA students with need-based financial aid, mentorship, on-the-job training, and aims to mold the next generation of passionate, servant-hearted dental leaders.

Dr. Carolyn Ghazal is a 1990 graduate of Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and a multiple-office owner dentist supported by Pacific Dental Services® (PDS®). She currently serves as chair of associate development for the PDS University – Institute of Dentistry and has served as chair of the PDS National Dental Advisory Board since its inception.

“I am deeply honored to be associated with such a meaningful endeavor, one that embodies the hope of investing in the lives, education and futures of dental assistant students nationwide,” said Dr. Ghazal. “This financial support will alleviate barriers for students, while the mentorship provided through the program will empower them to pursue an honorable career in dental assisting.”

Scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis to DA students to help cover tuition expenses. The Scholarship Review Committee awards scholarships based on applicants’ financial need, heart for service, career aspirations, and other criteria. Scholarships are awarded based on application excellence, financial need and a heart for service. Need-based financial aid, covered by the scholarship will be awarded not to exceed $5,000.

Since its establishment in 2016, the PDS Foundation has granted over $1.6 million in scholarships to support the educational pursuits of over 276 students in the dental field.

“Investing in the future of oral health leaders through the Dr. Carolyn Ghazal Dental Assistant Scholarship program fills us with immense joy,” said Michael Le, Executive Director of the PDS Foundation. “This initiative celebrates the significant contributions dental assistants make, not only within their offices but across the broader oral healthcare industry. Supporting their education and development opens doors to a variety of career paths, including leadership opportunities, underscoring their indispensable role and potential for growth within the field.”

Spring 2024 Dr. Carolyn Ghazal Dental Assistant Scholarship Recipients:

  • Sonia Olla Ameh, Ross Medical Education, Erlanger, Ky.
  • Jacqueline Gomez, Concorde Career College, Garden Grove, Calif.
  • Nadine Gonzales, Concorde Career College, San Antonio, Texas
  • Kayla Johnson, Southeastern Technical Institute, South Easton, Mass.
  • Esmirna King, Concorde Career College, San Diego, Calif.
  • Ashley Loera, North-West College, Riverside, Calif.
  • Fabian Luna, West Los Angeles College, Culver City, Calif.
  • Jocelyn Marquez, UEI College, Ontario, Calif.
  • Jazmin Morales, UEI College, Fresno, Calif.
  • Brooke Talley, Concorde Career College, Tampa, Fla.
  • Teaghan Townsend, Concorde Career College, San Diego, Calif.
  • Eudis Alfanzo Utrera, CompuMed Vocational Careers, Miami, Fla.
  • Evelyn Tamayo, Villa Pima Medical Institute, Renton, Wash.

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(Application Deadline May 1st)

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