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Pacific Dental Services Foundation Awards Over $45,000 to Spring 2024 Dental Assistant Scholarship Recipients

Posted on Friday, March 8, 2024

The PDS Foundation has granted over $1.6 million in scholarships since 2016

The Pacific Dental Services® (PDS) Foundation proudly announces the Spring 2024 Dr. Carolyn Ghazal Dental Assistant Scholarship recipients, a remarkable group of 13 dental assisting (DA) students who collectively received over $45,000 to help cover tuition expenses.

The scholarship comes at an important time in the dental industry. According to a recent report from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, the dental industry is currently experiencing a significant workforce shortage, with vacant dental assisting positions contributing to a 10 percent reduction in dental practice capacity nationwide. Moreover, financial hardship often prevents many enrolled DA students from finishing school.

Recognizing the importance of DAs to the future of dentistry, the PDS Foundation created this scholarship to provide students with the financial support they need to complete their education. Named after Carolyn Ghazal, DDS, a member of the PDS Foundation Board of Directors, this educational scholarship provides DA students with need-based financial aid, mentorship, on-the-job training, and aims to mold the next generation of passionate, servant-hearted dental leaders.

“I am deeply honored to be associated with such a meaningful endeavor, one that embodies the hope of investing in the lives, education and futures of dental assistant students nationwide,” said Dr. Ghazal. “This financial support will alleviate barriers for students, while the mentorship provided through the program will empower them to pursue an honorable career in dental assisting.”

Scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis to DA students to help cover tuition expenses. The Scholarship Review Committee awards scholarships based on applicants' financial need, heart for service, career aspirations, and other criteria.

Since its establishment in 2016, the PDS Foundation has granted over $1.6 million in scholarships to support the educational pursuits of over 276 students in the dental field.

“Investing in the future of oral health leaders through the Dr. Carolyn Ghazal Dental Assistant Scholarship program fills us with immense joy,” said Michael Le, Executive Director of the PDS Foundation. “This initiative celebrates the significant contributions dental assistants make, not only within their offices but across the broader oral healthcare industry. Supporting their education and development opens doors to a variety of career paths, including leadership opportunities, underscoring their indispensable role and potential for growth within the field.”

The application deadline for the next dental assistant scholarship is May 1. To learn more or apply, please visit

Spring 2024 Dr. Carolyn Ghazal Dental Assistant Scholarship Recipients:


Academic Institution 

City, State 

Sonia Olla Ameh 

Ross Medical Education 

Erlanger, Ky. 

Jacqueline Gomez 

Concorde Career College 

Garden Grove, Calif. 

Nadine Gonzales 

Concorde Career College 

San Antonio, Texas 

Kayla Johnson 

Southeastern Technical Institute 

South Easton, Mass. 

Esmirna King 

Concorde Career College 

San Diego, Calif. 

Ashley Loera 

North-West College 

Riverside, Calif. 

Fabian Luna 

West Los Angeles College 

Culver City, Calif. 

Jocelyn Marquez 

UEI College 

Ontario, Calif. 

Jazmin Morales 

UEI College 

Fresno, Calif. 

Brooke Talley 

Concorde Career College 

Tampa, Fla. 

Teaghan Townsend 

Concorde Career College 

San Diego, Calif. 

Eudis Alfanzo Utrera 

CompuMed Vocational Careers 

Miami, Fla. 

Evelyn Tamayo Villa 

Pima Medical Institute 

Renton, Wash. 


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