COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Smile for a Lifetime Foundation (S4L), an international nonprofit organization that provides orthodontic care and free braces to underserved children with financial challenges and special orthodontic needs, announced today that it has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to help S4L chapters throughout North America find qualified applicants for their local orthodontic scholarship programs. Through S4L's partnership with BGCA, young people who are served by some 4,000 community-based Clubs across the country will have the opportunity to learn about S4L and apply for its orthodontic treatment scholarships.
"Boys & Girls Clubs of America is dedicated to introducing the young people we serve to life-enhancing programs to help them develop self-confidence and reach their full potential as productive, responsible citizens," said Sharon Hemphill, senior director of health and life skills for BGCA. "The gift of a smile can transform a child's life. By working with Smile for a Lifetime, we will be able to offer Club members the opportunity to receive free braces and most importantly, a beautiful, long-lasting smile."
S4L was founded in 2008 by Dr. Benjamin Burris in an effort to link children and teens of low-income families with pro-bono orthodontic scholarships. Since its inception, the foundation has treated more than 800 children who could not afford braces and has grown to an international nonprofit organization that currently serves more than 108 chapters in 38 states and Canada. Local orthodontists form S4L chapters in the communities they serve and individually treat six or more young people annually. Local BGCA staff members are encouraged to nominate members ages 11-18 who would benefit from the S4L program by visiting www.s4l.org.
"Finances should never stop a child from achieving the dream of a straight smile and S4L is committed to touching the lives of our youth by awarding thousands of orthodontic scholarships to deserving kids," said S4L National Board President Dr. Ronald Redmond. "Given our shared goal of fostering self-confidence among our nation's youth, we believe our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the perfect union for providing our nation's young people with a brighter future."
S4L scholarships are funded through local orthodontists and primary sponsor Ormco Corporation - a leading manufacturer and provider of advanced orthodontic technology and services. Ormco provides the orthodontist with the braces used for treating each S4L scholarship recipient.
For more information on S4L's partnership with BGCA and further details on the orthodontic scholarship application process, please contact Michelle Von Fange at 719-535-2777 or [email protected].
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.
About Smile for a Lifetime Foundation
The mission of S4L is to create self-confidence, inspire hope and change the lives of children in their communities in a dramatic way. The gift of a smile can do all this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn, can use this gift to better themselves and their community. During treatment, many S4L local chapters also encourage scholarship recipients to participate in community service through a "pay it forward" program inspiring young people to participate in lifelong giving.
Currently, there are 108 chapters serving 38 states across North America with movement to increase those numbers to more than 200 chapters, covering 50 states and Canada in the next five years. Each chapter commits to serve at least six or more young people annually. By the end of 2012, some 800 to 1,000 young people will have received the gift of a smile with $4 million to $6 million of orthodontic services donated.
SOURCE Smile for a Lifetime Foundation