SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LIBERTY Dental Plan of California announced today that they have partnered with local nonprofit Improve Your Tomorrow and Sacramento City College to create the LIBERTY Dental Health Champions of Tomorrow Scholarship Program. The scholarships will support African American students interested in careers in dental related fields.
The scholarship program provides financial support up to $10,000 per year, ongoing learning opportunities, and academic assistance for four African American males entering the Dental Career Education Programs (both the completion of study for Associate Degree and/or certification programs in the field of dentistry) at Sacramento City College Campus. The program also matches students with mentors within the dental profession to support them through their studies and clinical internships. “This LIBERTY Dental Scholarship is an example of how you formulate partnerships between nonprofits, corporations, and higher education to transform the lives of black males,” said Michael Lynch, CEO of IYT.
Building on the successful IYT Community College (IYT CC) program, scholarship recipients will become part of a larger network of young men of color supporting one another toward completion of their post-secondary education goals. In addition, this scholarship seeks to expand the representation of black professionals in the dental field to support greater trust and utilization of dental services by the African American community. The scholarship is another example of LIBERTY empowering its communities to “make members shine, one smile at a time.”
The scholarship program grew out of an ongoing initiative LIBERTY established in Sacramento County to better serve black communities. With the Covid-19 pandemic having a disproportionate effect on health, social and economic factors within the African American community, LIBERTY has engaged in an ongoing dialogue with community organizations and advocates within the black community about how to improve oral health and utilization of dental services. Barriers identified included a lack of trust and low representation of black professionals in medical and dental offices, which ultimately impacted the decision to utilize services. The scholarship program breaks down those barriers and invests in the community to increase local health provider representation. “As a dental company founded and based in California, we are invested in the communities where we serve and we know that representation matters. This scholarship is an opportunity to expand career opportunities for young people of color but also to improve the dental field's ability to serve the African American community," said Amir Neshat, D.D.S., LIBERTY’s founder and CEO.
About LIBERTY Dental Plan of California
LIBERTY Dental Plan (LIBERTY) is a national company founded by dentists and health industry professionals. LIBERTY currently administers dental benefits to approximately 5.5 million members across the United States and over 500,000 Medi-Cal members in California. LIBERTY has been a leading dental service provider for the Sacramento Geographic Managed Care (GMC) program since 2005. LIBERTY operates and lives by the slogan “Making Members Shine – One Smile at a Time.”
About Improve Your Tomorrow
Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT) is an education nonprofit whose mission is to increase the number of young men of color to attend and graduate from colleges and universities.