TEANECK, N.J. — Fairleigh Dickinson University masters candidate Alejandro Delgado wants to give people with disabilities a reason to smile.
Last October, the former dentist started the nonprofit "Smiles Without Limitations" as part of a class project. His goal is to provide electric toothbrushes and oral health education to people with mental and physical disabilities in his native Colombia.
"A lot of organizations do a lot of different things for these people, but nobody seems to think about oral care," Delgado, 37, told Daily Voice. "Maybe if we helped them deal with some of their dental issues, they would have a reason to smile more."
As a dentist in Colombia, Delgado said he provided care for people with disabilities often. He moved to the United States eight years ago but managed to keep in touch with his former colleagues. He uses social media to raise fnds to purchase the electric toothbrushes and then leverages those relationships to distribute them.
"I buy the electric toothbrushes here but then I send them to my friends who are dentists back home and they work with organizations to teach people how to use them," he said.
Delgado's vision is have a large network of dentists in Latin America working with him to provide economical oral health care to people with disabilities.
He is currently working towards his MBA, and is seeking 501c3 certification.
"Good oral health vastly improves your quality of life," Delgado said. "I hope people will help me give others the gift of a smile."
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