“It is an honor to be recognized for my commitment to outreach. I love school and treating my patients in our student clinics; however, when I am in the community making a true difference in the lives of others who are often overlooked, I truly feel fulfilled. This tells me that it is innate in me to want to give back to the under-served,” said Hawkins. “Additionally, being awarded this scholarship during my fourth and most important year in dental school is a contributing factor in making my dream come true. With this scholarship, the stress of debt after graduation has been alleviated because I now have the money to pay for all my exams.”
Each year, the DTA Foundation awards multiple $5,000 scholarships to students across the country, recognizing a variety of emphasis points. In 2017, DTA Foundation awarded 27 scholarships to students across the country. Hawkins was the sole recipient of the Crown Seating Scholarship, which emphasizes a passion and dedication to making oral care accessible to the under-served.
“Keyachtta is incredibly deserving of this honor,” said Dean Scott S. De Rossi, DMD, MBA. “She is always looking for new ways to improve the oral health of those in our local community and beyond. Whether she is leading efforts to expand the care options at a local free clinic, or starting a completely new initiative, Keyachtta is truly dedicated to the betterment of oral health of all.”
Hawkins is expected to graduate from the UNC School of Dentistry in May 2018.