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Behind the Life of an Intern

Behind the Life of an Intern- by Jennifer Gonzalez I’m Jennifer Gonzalez, the new intern for Austin Smiles. I am a third year undergraduate student at The University of Texas. Currently, I am working towards my Health and Society degree while following a pre-medical track. I hope to attend medical school after my undergrad and one day become a doctor.     I discovered a passion for volunteering and helping those around my community through different service clubs I involved myself with throughout high school. That passion was fueled even further when I joined Global Medical Training, a service organization at UT that takes medical mission trips to Latin American countries. I’ve had the opportunity to attend two missions in the past two years, one to the Dominican Republic and the other to Nicaragua. Since I am not a licensed physician, the help we provided was using our limited knowledge on medicine to diagnose patients and help provided treatments. Our...

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Meet Teresa, Our New Executive Director

    Dear Austin Smiles Family,   It is an absolute pleasure and honor to embark on this beautiful journey of serving as the new Executive Director for Austin Smiles.  We are a thirty-year organization with long standing presence in Texas and in Latin America.  Austin Smiles is at a pivotal moment, and preparing for growth and expansion.   The experience I have gained during the past twenty years as a leader in nonprofit management, will contribute to advance our mission and to solidify our vision.  Our committed team is working diligently to continue building the necessary foundation for a strong and sustainable future.   Thank you for your support and your continued partnership, as it is only through collaborative work, that we are able to better serve our children.  Please consider stopping by and saying hello, we are preparing our next mission trip to Guatemala in October and look forward to another successful quest towards Creating Smiles and Improving...

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Veracruz 2017, Follow Up

Now that I am back from the trip it has taken me a couple of days to digest what exactly happened and the impact it made on my life. Thinking back to last week it seems like a beautiful dream. There was no way to take in every tear and every smile, I would have been an emotional wreck if I had. Today is different, I can finally look back and shed some tears thinking of the way my small part played in the big picture.   I have taken these days back to really hone in on this amazing experience. I can still feel the suns heat kissing my skin and the breeze coming from the ocean a couple of blocks from the hospital. I see the little faces smiling before surgery and the mothers crying once their babies are back in their arms. I think of the amazing team of people who worked so humbly and hard to...

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Veracruz 2017, Kenia

June 14, 2017 Kenia – Written and Photography by Natalie deLeon There are no words to describe the day-in-the-life of a patient and a parent who come for surgery with us at Austin Smiles. Below is the couple of days-in-the-life of Kenia and her mom. Kenia is 9-months-old, from a small town four hours from Veracruz. They arrived solely for Austin Smiles with help from the Rotarian to receive cleft-lip surgery. There is love, tears, smiles, and thoughtfulness throughout. Every parent reacts differently to their child’s surgery. This case was special because both mom and baby have cleft-lip and palate and both were done by non-profit organizations. I want to say thank you to Kenia and her mom for letting me be a part of such a special moment for baby Kenia! If you would like to donate to our Veracruz trip and others like this please donate here!

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Veracruz 2017, Surgery, Day Three

June 13, 2017 Surgery, Day Three – Written and Photography by Natalie deLeon Today I spent most of my day in Surgery. The things our doctors do is beyond my comprehension and beyond the scope of my knowledge, but is fascinating. Before walking into the surgical area I needed to suit up. I felt like I was gearing up for war. First came the scrubs. I unknowingly decided to grab some made of polyester, one size too big, and bright blue. Please don’t wear polyester scrubs in the middle of summer, I definitely learned my lesson on that one. Any shoes will work, mine – Nike tennis shoes, but they always need shoe covers. Also, a hat is necessary. Mine, a cotton hat lent to me by my roommate, Edna, with Latina women on them! This attire may seem like a lot but it is all done for the safety of the patient and yourself. Walking into the first surgery I felt as...

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