Front row (L-R): Maria Vultao, Cheyenne Figueiredo, Kayla Moniz
Back row (L-R): Isabella Raposo, Lindsay Dias, Dorothy Mahoney-Pacheco, Maria Torres, Faith Pimentel, Abigail Medieros, Salina Camara
Diman’s Dental Assisting program is at it again. Just six months after raising $750 to provide cleft lip surgery for three children in the third world, the department has donated 294 toothbrushes and 93 tubes of toothpaste to be sent to Honduras.
The project is run through the Educational Achievement Center of the Fall River YMCA by UMass Dartmouth junior sociology major Dorothy Mahoney-Pacheco. A Fall River resident, she’s an Endeavor Scholarship student at UMD, with part of the scholarship including giving back by doing a global project. “I wanted a project that had me work locally, but act globally,” she explained.
The Educational Achievement Center aims to close the achievement gap among low-income students. Mahoney-Pacheco worked with 3rd and 4th grade students at the Y to study global poverty and cultures, and chose Honduras as the focus of their studies.
The students decided to collect toothbrushes and toothpaste as part of their service learning project. They then made and distributed fliers and sought out places around the city to solicit donations.
“Diman’s contribution was actually a surprise to me,” said Mahoney-Pacheco. “I didn’t even know they were doing it. I just found out the other day. It’s very exciting.”
The dental donations will be distributed this summer through Missions for Humanity. The children have collected over 1,900 items for donation. “The kids are SUPER excited about the project,” enthused Mahoney-Pacheco.
Mahoney-Pacheco is a sociology major at UMass Dartmouth, but has discovered that she loves working with younger children through her three years volunteering at the YMCA. She now intends to go on to pursue an elementary school teacher certification and work in the local schools.
Donations of money or more toothbrushes and toothpaste are being taken through the end of April at the Fall River YMCA.