Meet the Recipient
The doctors at Harwell & Cook Orthodontics developed the Smiles For Teachers program to help give back to our amazing local teachers. We all have had special teachers who inspired us to be what we are today. The Smiles For Teachers program offers one of those important individuals with a brand new smile though braces or Invisalign®.
About the Program
The program began with an application period that ran from April 10 to May 12, 2019. During this time, educators from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles applied for a smile transformation. The response was so much more than we could have ever expected, demonstrating the need for this program in our community. Too often, teachers use their own money to pay for classroom essentials for our children, rather than focusing on themselves. They are often underpaid and thus sometimes cannot afford the orthodontic treatments they require and deserve.
Following the initial application period, the team narrowed the list down to the top 24 people who were most medically eligible. With a difficult decision to be made, the Harwell & Cook team opened up the final decision to a public vote. The program went viral, as nominees’ friends and families rallied around their loved ones, sharing the voting period on social media and encouraging others to cast their vote. After receiving nearly 10,000 votes in the week-long voting period, the candidate with the most votes was Candra Clary, a fifth-grade science teacher at Oak Dale Elementary. In Candra’s application, she stated, “I became a teacher because I had a few great teachers who helped me know that I could achieve my goals and rise up from my circumstances, and I knew that I wanted do that for a child someday.”
Our team surprised Candra with the news in her classroom, alongside her supportive students and co-workers and with the help of KFDA News Channel 10. Candra’s drive for teaching and empowering her students makes her an incredible recipient for our Smiles For Teachers program. We are thrilled to be able to give her the smile she has always deserved.
Be sure to follow along with Candra’s smile transformation and to hear about upcoming Smiles For Teachers application periods by following our Facebook page.