photo courtesy of DANB
Clockwise from left: Mechiah Brant; Khrystyna Couture; Diego Ortiz; Brittany Perry, CDA; Sydney Riester; Monserat Rincon; Grace Tarr; and Karleigh Yazzie.

DANB and DALE Foundation award scholarships to 8 dental assistants

June 14, 2024
The recipients of this year's scholarships plan to use them to further their educations and careers in dental assisting in order to further the mission of dental assistants.

Eight dental assistants were selected to receive the DANB/DALE Foundation Scholarship. They plan to use the funds to further their education, earn credentials, and support their communities.

The eight scholarship recipients were selected out of more than 500 applicants from across the country. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and the DALE Foundation launched the scholarship earlier this year with the goal of advancing the dental assistant workforce and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the dental assisting profession and the communities they serve.

Scholarship recipients will receive up to $1,000 for dental assisting education, exams, credentials, or activities that will advance diversity, equity, and inclusion among dental assistants and the populations they serve.

2024 DANB/DALE Foundation scholarship recipients

(Pictured top, clockwise from upper left)

  • Mechiah Brant
  • Khrystyna Couture
  • Diego Ortiz
  • Brittany Perry, CDA
  • Sydney Riester
  • Monserat Rincon
  • Grace Tarr
  • Karleigh Yazzie

Mechiah Brant: “As a dental assistant, I can stress the importance of oral hygiene and properly educate people and patients I encounter daily. I want to be a resource for those who are faced with barriers to accessing care. I also plan on getting involved at dental clinics to help others who are limited on resources.”

Khrystyna Couture: “My biggest dream is to apply my dental assisting skills in my home country, Ukraine. In view of the current war, there is an urgent need for all healthcare workers. I would like to travel back home and volunteer my time working in a clinic or a hospital.”

Diego Ortiz: “I am the first generation of my family to graduate from high school and attend college. I chose dental assisting because dental health has a lot to do with an individual’s health. Dental assisting will allow me to help others improve their oral health and teach them about its importance.”

Brittany Perry, CDA: “Recently, I was promoted to a clinic coordinator role for a pediatric clinic attached to a school in a rural area of Missouri. At the clinic, children who maybe are located too far from a dental clinic or are underinsured can get care right here in their school. It is very rewarding working somewhere that is going the extra mile to help our community.”

Sydney Riester: “I am planning on graduating, getting in the field, and volunteering at local clinics or school programs that help children with accessing affordable or free dental care. I want everyone to love their smile and will also help educate others about why oral health is very important.”

Monserat Rincon: “I gained interest in the dental field the first time I went with my mother to see the dentist so I could help translate. I realized I could make a difference in our community, since there were not any offices in town that had Spanish speakers or interpreters. Now, while in school, I was able to get a job at a mainly Spanish-speaking office and realize how important it is to me to be able to help the Hispanic community.”

Grace Tarr: “I am now working in my second year as a pediatric dental assistant, and I am loving it. I work with the only pediatric dentist in a rural northern Maine town of about 1,200 people. We also provide care for eight-plus small-town communities in our county who don’t have access to dental care.”

Karleigh Yazzie: “Growing up, I have always wanted to help and give back to my community, but I was never really sure how. I feel like dental assisting has given me the opportunity to do that. I like being able to educate people about their oral care and how to maintain their oral hygiene.”

Learn more about DANB and DALE Foundation scholarships.