S.M.I.L.E. Healthcare Pathway Program

Our Mission

The S.M.I.L.E. (Student Mentoring with Immersive Learning and Enrichment) Healthcare Pathway Program is a partnership between Henry Schein, Inc. the National Dental Association, and other professional associations to help mentor future healthcare professionals, enhance health literacy, expand diversity in the healthcare workforce and ultimately improve health and overall outcomes in underserved communities nationwide.

When and Where

S.M.I.L.E. Healthcare Pathway Program will take place July 7 – 12, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee. The program expands each year to a historically diverse colleges and universities. This summer program introduces students to careers in oral health, including: dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, or dental office administrators.

Student Criteria

  • Students Entering 9th and 10th grade in the 2024—2025 School Year
  • Students who are interested in learning more about careers in dentistry or the healthcare community
  • Required to stay overnight from July 7 – 11, 2024 at Fisk University
  • Submit a completed and signed application by Parent/Guardian by March 31, 2024
  • Finalists will be required to participate in an on-camera Zoom interview
  • Students who are financially disadvantaged will be given priority

The program will be held at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Application Period Is Now Closed.

2024 Finalists will receive confirmation before May 31, 2024


  • Immersive learning and enrichment for students introducing them to the oral health community.
  • Connect student participants with mentors who will support and provide guidance that facilitates the student’s interest in various healthcare professions.
  • Enhance the student’s knowledge of the health disparities and inequities that can impact one’s health and the overall outcomes of their community.

Supported by a grant from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation and the Robert I. Schattner Foundation, Inc. It is anticipated that 40 students of diverse backgrounds, races, and ethnicities will participate in this innovative program which will be the first introduction to higher education and exposure to a profession that many of them will have ever experienced. Through S.M.I.L.E., we endeavor to dramatically impact the student’s lives and the communities from which they come.


Who is this program intended for and why does it exist?

This program was designed to support 9th and 10th-grade students who are interested in learning more about the healthcare community, impacting their communities, and connecting with other students and professionals who support their interests.

What are the eligibility requirements for a chaperone?

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must live in the Nashville area or able to accommodate own travel plans
  • Students in healthcare, including pre-med or pre-dental, are preferred
  • Will be subject to a background check
  • Must be comfortable staying in the dormitories
  • Will be responsible for a group of 9th or 10th graders and must be available in the evenings
  • Participate in an on-screen interview