Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Interning with AS – Our Cleft Community


Hello everybody!

My name is Prarthana Pilla and I am a senior at The University of Texas studying Human Biology and Social Work. I am thrilled to be a Social Work and Community Studies Intern at the Austin Smiles Plastic Surgery Foundation this fall. In this role, I am able to uphold the Austin Smiles mission and thereby facilitate the provision of resources and community services to families both in Austin and across the world. Working in this organization is an incredible opportunity to gain practical experience alongside professionals who have dedicated their careers to bettering the lives of children with craniofacial anomalies from under-resourced communities. By working with Austin Smiles, I am learning so much about the intersection of social work and medicine, which is an invaluable addition to my current understanding of healthcare operations.

This semester I’m been involved in a variety of tasks including digitizing the medical supplies, making & delivering care packages for new moms, grant writing, and recruiting student volunteers for our fundraising events. One task that has stood out to me by far is revamping our Facebook support group. With the onset of COVID-19, it’s incredibly important for us to build out a solid virtual network for families over Texas to be heard and feel supported by one another.

If you or any of your loved ones are interested in joining the group, please check it out at the following links:
Support group:
Support group for Spanish Speakers:

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1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

$250 covers the cost of one life-changing surgery

150 volunteers annually will change a child’s life forever

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Austin Smiles goes on 2-3 medical mission trips annually

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Our local program support for children born with Cleft Lip and Palate in Texas

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