Sarah Melchior is a second-year student in the Dental Hygiene program at Salt Lake Community College. She also started her 2nd term as an AmeriCorps member in September. At the SLCC Dental Hygiene clinic, she provides low-cost dental care and cleanings to folks who do not have dental insurance. Along with her classmates, she is learning how to work with tricky patients – folks who speak little English, those with anxiety about going to the dentist, young children, or the elderly – in a calm and respectful manner, with an eye toward proper oral-care instruction to prevent future dental problems.
UHEAN AmeriCorps members are required to complete a volunteer mobilization project for each term they serve, in which they recruit five non-AmeriCorps volunteers to complete a project that either directly benefits the member’s service site or the community that site serves. Sarah’s project, which she completed in December, included collecting donations and making hygiene kits to the Rescue Mission Women’s Center, so the staff could provide no-cost supplies to women experiencing homelessness.
In addition to being a student and AmeriCorps member, Sarah has taken on an additional role in supporting her classmates, as the class President. Their professor and campus coordinator, Renee Mendenhall, writes: “Sarah goes over and above to help her classmates attain their community service goals. She attends many events to promote our program, clinic, and AmeriCorps. She is very deserving of this honor!”