Written by: Ebonie Montgomery, Hopeful Smiles Program Director
I was referred to Attitudes & Attire® by a woman from church who volunteered there. She happened to be in the same room with me when I cracked my front tooth and saw how distressed I was. I knew it would be harder to find a job and there was no way I could afford to go to a dentist. She told me about the Hopeful Smiles™ program, and I attended Attitudes & Attire® in November 2014.
I completed all three workshops which served as a great reminder for things I had forgotten. The workshops helped me get back on track at a time when I felt as though I had lost control of my life and my future. I could, once again, see light at the end of the tunnel. After the workshops, I signed up for Hopeful Smiles™ and began volunteering in the boutique as part of the requirements. I enjoyed working in the boutique so much that I expressed my desire to continue volunteering beyond my obligation. If Attitudes & Attire® was willing to pay lab fees, and the dentists were willing to donate their services, I could give more too. One day I was asked if I would be interested in working part-time at Attitudes & Attire®. It was definitely a great opportunity considering I needed the extra income, and I accepted.
The day finally came for me to meet my dentist, Dr. Steve Levy. He was kind, thoughtful and informative, and so were both of his assistants. Before I knew it, my new smile was complete. It was one of the happiest days of my life, because I could finally hold my head up without feeling embarrassed. I smile so much more than I used to and can eat with ease. I am more confident because I can smile freely without covering my mouth and just be myself.
I am proud to say I am now a full-time employee at Attitudes & Attire® and work directly with the Hopeful Smiles™ program. I get to help other women through the process, and I get to work with Dr. Levy in a professional capacity! I never expected I would be on the other side. Attitudes & Attire® believed in me and encouraged me throughout the whole growth process. It has been a long time since someone took a chance on me, and for that I am grateful.
This is the story of Elizabeth Acstacio, one of the newest staff members of Attitudes & Attire® and the Hopeful Smiles™ program. She is truly an amazing asset to the program. Her enthusiasm and hard work show daily as she helps other women attain a confident smile.
The vision of the Hopeful Smiles™ Program is to assist women in the restoration of their “smiles” in order to gain and sustain long-term employment opportunities and assist in their self-sufficiency. To say the least, this is the true mission of the Hopeful Smiles™ program, and Elizabeth is the best example of what this program offers women we serve.
The Hopeful Smiles program has taken off in a tremendous way and they are in need of new providers to accommodate the clients that we currently have on a waiting list. At this time, we are recruiting new dentists to join our team of dental professionals. If you know any professional dental associations who would be interested in becoming involved, please contact Ebonie at: 214.746.4220 or [email protected]