Local Non-profit Awards More than 65 Scholarships for Free Braces


The East Contra Costa County Chapter of the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation is once again giving children in East County a reason to smile. Dr. Sheffield’s office is now accepting applications from local children for its foundation’s orthodontic scholarships.

Since its founding in 2011, more than 65 children have been awarded scholarships at no cost to them or their families.

Dr. Sheffield was inspired to start his own chapter of Smile for a Lifetime in 2011, as a way to pay it forward in the community where he and his team have deep roots and ties. Dr. Rob’s chapter is comprised of a nine member board of directors that reviews each application, and is responsible for awarding orthodontic scholarships to deserving local children whose families are unable to pay for braces. Six scholarships are awarded to students in our community following application drives that end each March 30 and September 30.

The mission of Smile for a Lifetime is to create self-confidence, inspire hope, and change the lives of children in our community in a dramatic way. The gift of a healthy and confident smile cannot be taken for granted, and the expectation is that recipients use this lifelong gift to better themselves and our community.

To be considered for the scholarship, applicants are generally between the ages of 11 and 18, have orthodontic needs and financial hardship (most qualify for free or reduced lunch at school). The board will consider other situations, such as a family that has a large financial burden from medical expenses incurred by another family member. Because this is a scholarship, the student’s grades, community service and letters of recommendation are also considered by the board of directors. The foundation encourages each applicant to share ways they can use their time and talents to pay it forward.

When asked what his favorite part of the process is, Dr. Rob says, “Some of our best days in the office are when we reveal the scholarship winners. Some kids scream with surprise and delight, while others stand in shock. The parents beam with pride, and express their gratitude for this opportunity for their child.”

Dr. Sheffield plans to continue to award twelve orthodontic scholarships each year. Additional information can be found at www.s4l.org.

Applications for Dr. Sheffield’s chapter of Smile for a Lifetime may be obtained by going to his website at www.sheffieldortho.com.

The board of directors would like to thank the many community members who encourage kids to apply and invest in our community. From teachers to local dentists and youth leaders, we can all use our time and talents to pay it forward. We would also like to thank the many local dentists who provide services to the recipients while they are in Dr. Sheffield’s orthodontic care.

The S4L Foundation is always looking for deserving candidates. Help us give our community another reason to smile