Jesus Tirado lives in Barron. His mother cleans hotel rooms and his dad picks up odd jobs in the fields. Jesus used to sell golf balls along the eastern fence and then was accepted into the “Ninos del Rio” golf training program initiated with a gift from EDM golfers. He turned out to be a talented golfer and formed a fast friendship with the son of EDM residents Graham & Lee Smith. He was able to visit the Smith’s at their home in Ojai, CA. This kid knew he was going to be somebody someday so he stuck around and kept trying when door after door of opportunity closed.
So when the FOB CANAM inaugural dental clinic needed volunteers, Jesus and his friend Uriel stepped up and put in five long days helping the dental health workers treat the entire primary school population. They ran errands, they did paperwork, they herded the kids to where they needed to be. We couldn’t have done it without them. But Jesus was able to help translate inside the clinic as well due to his English skills. He helped sooth frightened kids who were seeing a dentist for the first time. He helped explain dicey situations to concerned parents. And he showed up every day, all day, always with a smile. He caught the attention of the volunteer dentists and they encouraged him to study dentistry.
Jesus is now in his second year of dental school, aided by a modest scholarship managed by FOB CANAM and sponsored by Graham & Lee Smith and Dick & Kris McGuire. For about $250 a month, this kid can go to dental school if he also works a part-time job. He still volunteers at every dental clinic gaining valuable insights working side-by-side with the experienced American dentist and hygienist volunteers; how to hide the needle from view and administer a painless injection, how to clean the hard-to-reach molars, how to explain consequences.
The volunteer dentists identified Jesus as a winner and FOBs sponsors made it happen.