Dr. Laila Hishaw enjoys keeping the smiles of her patients healthy but what she loves more are the kids behind the smiles
Diversity In Dentistry Mentorships, INC.
Dr. Laila Hishaw enjoys keeping the smiles of her patients healthy but what she loves more are the kids behind the smiles. She recognizes she is more than a doctor who fixes teeth and prevents oral disease, she is a role model and mentor to children and future dentists. As dentists, she feels it is incumbent on them to nurture and bring up the next generation of leaders in the field. She is one of only 3.8% of Black dentists in America. Strongly believing representation matters and that children will want to emulate that which they see in their lives, she decided something needed to be done to change this statistic.
Dr. Hishaw founded Diversity in Dentistry Mentorships, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization to educate, empower and mentor African American youth and other underrepresented minorities to dentistry. She wants them to know dentistry is a rewarding career and an attainable goal early on in life, getting them on the right educational path to be successful candidates for dental school and ultimately, valuable leaders in the profession of dentistry.
Why Mentoring Matters
Many young people do not have professionals in their lives they can look up to. No one lights the way by advising them on which subjects to take. Dentistry may not even be on their radar. Less than 15% of dental students come from underrepresented backgrounds. Mentoring can bring about meaningful connections to the community, which is exceptionally rewarding for both parties. Mentoring also helps young people feel seen and heard. It helps them know that they matter and that they have a voice. Please visit our website to learn how you can support our work and/or sign up to be a dental mentor or mentee at Diversity In Dentistry Mentorships.