Changing a Life Through the Gift of a Smile

In 2011, Ryan Lopez was awarded a Smile for a Lifetime (S4L) Scholarship from his local chapter in Fresno, California run by Dr. Pat DiCiccio of DiCiccio Orthodontics. The gift has been a life changer for Ryan whose self-confidence has soared since receiving his braces.

Despite a difficult childhood and living in a gang ridden neighborhood, Ryan managed to avoid the gangs and instead got involved in sports, volunteering and weight-lifting. Graduating from high school, volunteering as a soccer coach, moving into his own apartment and working in construction to save for college, all speak of Ryan resolve to work toward his dream of becoming a firefighter.

In addition to the orthodontic scholarship, when the national office of Smile for a Lifetime found out about Ryan’s desire to be a firefighter, they wanted to help make his dreams come true. He was awarded a national S4L college scholarship for $3000.00 to help him pursue his dream. He’ll be starting at Fresno Community College in the Fire Science program this winter.

S4L chapters provide free orthodontics to children who are underserved across North America and Canada through a competitive scholarship program. Most of the children chosen for the program have extreme orthodontic needs and have been socially bullied by other children because of their smile. Receiving a Smile for a Lifetime scholarship is a life-changing event for those in the program by creating self-confidence and inspiring hope. For more information about S4L visit: to locate a chapter near you. Or contact Michelle at for more information.

NOTE: To see Ryan accepting his college scholarship award  CLICK HERE!