Published in the Winter 2014 edition of TP Orthodontics Inside News.
Kids today are growing up in a world far removed from what many before experienced. From the constant barrage of new technologies to the excessive and ever constant social media influence, kids have access to an endless supply of information, both good and not so good. We can only imagine how they process it all. We can only hope that people close to them provide that much-needed guidance to help them make wise choices. Dr. Douglas Wright, an orthodontist in Amherst, NY, believes that in his practice he has the perfect opportunity to be one of those positive guiding influences.
With a practice motto of “The Wise Choice” Dr. Wright firmly believes as he puts it, “That part of our duty as orthodontists in a community is to facilitate and mentor our young patients in making wise choices.” He knows as we all do, that to be successful, kids not only need encouragement and support, they need confidence. So he and his wife Laurie decided to take a bold step in their commitment to their young patients and launch a very special contest!
This past November, Dr. Wright and a local radio station teamed up to run the “Tell Us about Your Wise Kid That Makes You Smile” contest. The goal was to acknowledge a young person’s good choices and reward them with confidence-building orthodontic treatment they could not otherwise afford. Contestants were asked to write an essay about how a young person they know focuses his or her time and energy in a positive way. They were to include volunteer activities, describe how they avoid the negative influences of social media and cyber bullying and how he or she manages the difficult decisions they are faced with every day.
Dr. Wright and his wife spent many hours reading and evaluating over 200 entries. They learned of some amazing kids making very good decisions, many of whom deserved to win. However they stood strong in their commitment to find someone who not only demonstrated wise choices, but also did not have the financial means for treatment. Once the difficult decision was made, the winning entry was read during a live radio broadcast and awarded with an on-air call from the DJ. “She was so excited,” said Dr. Wright, “and we were thrilled to meet this wonderful young lady, recognize her good choices and be part of building her confidence with an even greater smile than she already has.”
Dr. Wright said that he is looking forward to running the contest again in 2014 and will consider awarding two kids, one boy and one girl. “The most important thing,” said Dr. Wright “is that we are recognizing, fostering and supporting kids who are making wise choices during a period in their life when they are faced with more challenges and influences than ever. It’s just refreshing and inspiring!”