Operation Smile is a charity organization for children – donate non profit
Operation Smile is a charity organization for children – donate non profit
 
You are here:

Student Stories

Student volunteers play an important role in every international medical mission - helping to change children's lives and their own.

Operation Smile sends two student leaders and a student sponsor on missions to help educate local children and families about burn care and prevention, oral rehydration therapy, nutrition and dental hygiene. When students help children in need, they learn firsthand how they can make an impact on the world and the personal rewards gained from giving back.

A Journey to Understand a Smile
I tried to understand the life of someone who couldn't smile because they were too embarrassed, or maybe they didn’t feel “normal” because of a facial deformity. The more I thought about this, the more I was inspired to start finding answers to my questions. Step one: I joined the Operation Smile club at my school and began my journey as a student leader.
Connected Though a Look, a Hug
Despite the difficult year, Leslie has never given up in her determination to help Thiagu. While looking for healthcare options for his bilateral cleft lip, her doctor recommended Operation Smile's international clinic in Lima. She arrived at 5 a.m. this morning, hopeful that her son's life might take a turn for the better.
An Unlikely Friendship
Just as Luke was called in to the Operating Room for surgery, she turned to me and said, “This procedure has been tested, right?” I assured her that her son is in the best hands and everything will be great. With tears in her eyes, Priscilla mumbled, “It is my dream for him.”
Ethiopian Boy Dreams of Playing Soccer with Friends
Seged was thrilled when he heard that he was having a boy. After having three girls, he was ready to bond with a son. But hit excitement quickly turned into sadness and confusion when he saw his son for the first time – Kahsu was born with a cleft lip.
Left Alone, A Chance at a New Life
Liu Shuquan was abandoned by his parents directly after birth because of his two birth defects: a cleft lip and palate. Unfortunately, this act is not uncommon in China. Liu’s mother said she found him a few days after birth on the side of the road.
Q&A with Volunteer Photographer Devin Wilson
Devin Reiser Wilson is an Outcomes Data Fellow for Operation Smile. He has been involved with Operation Smile for nearly 6 years and volunteered on more than 30 mission during that time. During an interview on his most recent mission site in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Devin shared his experience with Operation Smile.
A Mother's Persistence
Luisa María and Darisleidy traveled to Operation Smile’s Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic mission site. They have been here three times previously. This was their fourth visit, and Luisa María had determination in her eyes.
A Shared Journey
I was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate, which in a way has made my first Operation Smile medical mission a sort of safe haven – a place where everyone understands.
Learning to Speak Again
Matias Gonzales has developed his own sort of sign language. At 16-years-old, the teenager refuses to speak because his cleft palate causes speech difficulties – he’d rather not even try.
A New Family Across the Atlantic
A student volunteer experiences joy and heartache on a life-changing medical mission in Ghana.
A Young Patient Comforts Waiting Families
While mothers and fathers waiting nervously for their child to come out of the OR, one young patient eased their minds by telling them about his experience just a day earlier.

Items 1 - 12 of 103  123456789Next
Help Now

Children with cleft conditions are waiting - You can help.