The Smiles of Others Pushed Rosario Toward a Career in Pediatric Dentistry

Rachel Rosario

For Rachel Rosario, whose family instilled in her the value of reaching back to give to her community, seeing others smile has inspired her to become a dentist. 

It was during her family trips back to Haiti, carrying suitcases full of toiletries for those in need, that Rachel first decided she wanted to become a dentist. “One of the most prominent things I would recall from my trips to Haiti were the smiles,” she said. 

Though Rachel was moved by the smiles of those her family was able to serve, she was also concerned about those who were marred by severe dental caries and missing teeth. “As I grew up, those smiles stayed with me and helped push me towards dentistry,” she said. 

“What brought me to Meharry was how at home I felt the instant I set foot on this campus,” Rachel said. “You are never alone here and that distinguishes Meharry from so many institutions.” 

During her time at Meharry, Rachel’s grandmother passed away. Her classmates and the faculty and staff at Meharry gave her the support she needed to continue on her educational journey. “Without that support, I would not be here today to walk across that stage and receive my diploma,” she saId. “I will be forever grateful for what Meharry has done for me.”

Rachel was raised by her mother, grandmother, and aunts and uncles, who came from Haiti to America in pursuit of a better life for their family. “My family is not the most traditional in that it took a village to raise me,” she said, but she would not have it any other way. “They all inspire me to take life by the horns and go after my dreams,” she says. 

As a 2017 HBCU All-Star, she had the opportunity to visit Washington for the HBCU All Star Conference. During the conference, Rachel participated in leadership and empowerment training, future career discussions and partook in an initiative focused on increasing the number of pediatric patients seen at the Meharry School of Dentistry.

Rachel graduated with a bachelor of science in neurobiology and physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012.

Dr. Carolyn Williams, Rachel’s mentor at Meharry, has been instrumental in her progression and has inspired her to become a pediatric dentist.

After graduation, Rachel said she will be keep-ing her talents at Meharry Medical College in the General Practice Residency program. She will go into pediatric dentistry when the time is right, she said. “The future is looking mighty bright.”

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