WCU Students Embark on Mission to Deliver Dental Care, Education on Catalina Island

West Coast University students sailed to Catalina Island this summer on a mission to brighten smiles at the Children’s Dental Health Clinic. 

Led by WCU-Orange County dental hygiene professor Stormy Li, the six students spent two days on the island but had little time for sightseeing. 

“When we arrived, we went directly to the clinic,” Li said. 

On both days of their “quick but full trip,” the student volunteers provided oral hygiene instructions, prophylaxis, fluoride, and even some sealants with their pediatric patients. 

A non-profit dental and teaching program, the Children’s Dental Health Clinic serves about 5,500 patients each year at its main location in Long Beach and its school-based clinic on Santa Catalina Island, which partners with WCU to receive dental hygiene students three times a year. 

“Some of our students were also able to give toothbrushes and an oral health presentation to preschoolers,” Li shared. “I think these students are amazing because they volunteered to go during their term break.” 

The WCU dental hygiene students included Anthony N., Anissa T., Gohar M., Kayla P., Naif S., and Sameen D. To participate, they had to meet GPA requirements, be in good standing with the university, and write an essay on the importance of community service.  

“It was a fulfilling opportunity,” WCU-OC student Naif S. said. “Our interactions with the patients we treated were heartwarming to say the least. In addition to treating these patients, we were also able to educate them on how to continually improve their oral hygiene. I highly encourage future students to jump at this opportunity.”  

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